May 12, 2004

The Chicago Transit Authority will test new bus tracking technology that can provide real time data to improve the efficiency and reliability of CTA bus service. The Chicago Transit Board today approved a $1.3 million contract for Clever Devices, Ltd. to implement the real time communication system as part of a limited pilot program to test the viability of the system.

?We are excited about the potential benefits of this technology for CTA reliability and efficiency," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. "The better the transit experience we offer, the more CTA will be able to meet customer demand and encourage new customers to ride the system."

?We are always looking for the latest technological advances for enhancing the quality of CTA bus service," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?Part of the testing involves collecting data that can assist CTA in making better scheduling, planning and route decisions, as well as providing customers with real time bus arrival information."

The new technology will be installed on up to 30 CTA buses over a 12-month period to demonstrate whether buses can be tracked in real time and if the system can provide enhanced monitoring of bus operations. One specially equipped bus shelter will provide customers real-time schedule information, as well.

CTA will test the real time system in conjunction with the automated announcement system already installed on select CTA buses. The existing systems provide stored data on a bus's position by using a combination of global positioning satellites, odometer inputs that provide distance traveled, and a gyroscope that observes changes in direction. The additional real time communication system will enable the information to be collected in real time.

The existing systems were installed on select CTA buses in 2003 and provide CTA operations and planning with an accurate count of where customers board and alight buses and the number of customers on board buses at any given point on a route.

The pilot is expected to begin this summer.

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