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Better Bus Tracking and Predictions

Updated on October 11, 2018

A bus on Route 43 pulls up to a bus stop.

About the Project

Timeline: Fall 2018
Status: Construction

Update

As of October 4, 2018, we've upgraded our bus predictions. Customers can expect a 10% increase in accuracy. Some older apps may not use our new system.

Check out MBTA-endorsed apps

View schedules and real-time bus locations online

Summary

The MBTA is unveiling 2 new innovations that will improve bus prediction accuracy for customers as part of the Better Bus Project

  • New bus location tracking will offer more frequent updates of where buses are, every few seconds. Instant tracking reports where every bus in the system is, in real time. 
  • Simultaneously, a new prediction system will increase the accuracy of arrival estimates on our website and apps by nearly 10% over the previous system. 

Goals

  • Improve updates on bus locations from every 60 seconds—or longer—to every few seconds
  • Offer customers more accurate bus arrival estimates 

Project features

  • Switch the transmission of data from radio network to a cellular-plus-radio system
  • Install new hardware and software across entire fleet

Benefits

Better predictions:

  • More accurate estimated wait times at stops
  • Improved arrival estimates

More reliable information:

  • More frequently updated tracking information on apps, mobile devices, and MBTA.com 
  • Location tracking across more of our service area, especially areas where there are gaps in radio signal, like Logan Airport

A more efficient system:

  • Quicker bus rerouting for obstacles, including diversions and road closures
  • More effective redirection of buses during traffic delays

Learn more about how the T is making bus predictions better

Contact Information

For all queries and comments related to Better Bus Tracking and Predictions, please contact:

Siobhan Cunningham, Project Manager