Bus Tracker Shelter Displays

Bus Tracker Shelter Displays

An image showing where the signs are mounted on bus sheltersWe know you love CTA Bus Tracker SM and we know you’d like it to be in more places. To help you spend less time looking up arrival times on your phone or craning your neck to see if a bus is coming, CTA is installing LED screens with audio at bus shelters around town.

These new shelter displays tell you when the next buses are estimated to arrive, for all routes that serve the shelter. Next time you are at a bus shelter, make sure to look up.

Project update, September 2012

When the project was announced in September 2011, CTA estimated that 150 signs would be installed by Spring 2012, and a remaining 250 installed by September 2012. CTA chose this schedule to enable us to assess the performance of the initial installations. The first 150 were installed on schedule, and based on our experience with that first phase of installation, CTA is making three changes to the equipment to maximize functionality and improve service:

  1. Relocating the wireless signal antenna from inside the shelter to the outside—this will improve signal strength and reliability of the signs
  2. Switching out the communications modem—changing from a single-network modem to a “universal” modem that works with more than one cellular carrier will result in improved connectivity.
  3. Retrofitting and installing an audio button locator tone that can be managed remotely and set at various decibel levels—this “low-tone” location identifier that will assist a sight impaired customer with identifying the location of the audio button.

Additionally, it will allow for remote day and night audio adjustment so volume levels can be customized for locations in residential neighborhoods, or locations subject to varying ambient background noise levels.

These changes will push back the expected completion date until early 2013. Also, the total quantity installed will be reduced by 40, for two reasons: not as many shelter locations are needed to cover shelters that serve multiple bus lines, and because of the additional costs for the technology changes.

Additionally, about 100 of the remaining screens to be installed are being considered for a new, more robust screen type that could include more customer information. Designs and specifics are still being worked on, and installations likely would not occur until 2013. 


Shelter locations

The initial installations are based on locations that service multiple bus routes. The initial installations represent about 20 percent of total bus shelters citywide, but will serve about 80 percent of CTA bus riders. We have worked hard to pick bus stops that benefit communities across the city, assist you with your connection to Metra or Pace, and service a lot of riders each day.


This map shows where the initial 150 shelters are currently slated to be installed.

CTA - System Information - Map Showing Bus Stop Shelters in Digital Sign Project

Interactive map hosted courtesy City of Chicago Data Portal.


Complete list

For a complete list of shelter locations, you can also view or download a complete list of stops in this program via the City of Chicago Data Portal or directly download a list in Excel format.


An image showing what the "play audio" button looks likeAccessibility

Each sign is equipped with a push button and speaker to announce the estimated arrival times for our riders with visual impairments. The push button is located inside the shelter, typically on the left front pole when facing the street, at a height of 42 inches above the ground.  Push the button once and a speaker inside the shelter will announce upcoming arrivals.

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