Editor's Note: The following is a news release issued by NJ Transit.
NJ Transit announced the launch of MyBus Now, the agency’s first real-time service information system for bus customers, which kicked off Dec. 13 as a pilot program on 16 Mercer County-area bus routes.
“The launch of the MyBus Now pilot program marks an important step toward systemwide implementation of this vital customer information tool,” said NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein. “With access to real-time bus location and arrival information literally at their fingertips, bus customers will be able to make informed decisions about their travel, even while on the go.”
MyBus Now uses “smart bus” technology to provide customers with access to real-time bus arrival estimates to a specific bus stop within a 30-minute window. Customers will be able to access the information in three ways: from a desktop computer through njtransit.com, from a web-enabled smartphone through the mobile version of njtransit.com, and via SMS-text messaging directly to their cell phones.
Starting Thursday, Dec. 13, customers of bus routes that operate out of NJ Transit’s Hamilton Garage are able to use MyBus Now to access real-time service information. The 16 bus routes, which serve communities in Mercer County and parts of Somerset and Middlesex counties, include:
- No. 600 Trenton-Plainsboro (U.S. 1 Corridor)
- No. 601 The College of New Jersey-Trenton-Hamilton Marketplace
- No. 602 Pennington-Trenton
- No. 603 Mercer Mall-Hamilton Square-Yardville-Hamilton Marketplace
- No. 604 East Trenton-Trenton Transit Center
- No. 605 Montgomery Township-Princeton-Quaker Bridge Mall
- No. 606 Princeton-Mercerville-Hamilton Marketplace
- No. 607 Ewing-Trenton-Independence Plaza
- No. 608 Hamilton-West Trenton
- No. 609 Ewing-Quaker Bridge Mall
- No. 610 Trenton-Princeton Seasonal Service
- No. 611 Trenton-River View Plaza Circulator
- No. 612 Lawrence-West Windsor
- No. 613 Mercer Mall-Hamilton Square-Yardville-Hamilton Marketplace
- No. 619 Ewing-Quaker Bridge Mall-Mercer County College
- No. 655 Princeton-Plainsboro
NJ Transit selected Hamilton Garage for the pilot program because the relatively small size of its operations and the fact that none of its bus routes intersect with other garages provide an ideal testing environment. The pilot will enable NJ Transit to address any issues with the system prior to a full systemwide rollout in spring 2013.
NJ Transit is currently taking delivery of 1,145 new buses that are already equipped with smart bus technology provided by Clever Devices LTD. In addition, NJ Transit has procured additional smart bus platforms to retrofit the remaining buses in the agency’s fleet, including those on routes operated by private carriers under contract to NJ Transit.
The Clever Devices platform offers many operational and customer benefits, including automatic bus stop announcements, vehicle condition monitoring, passenger counting and real-time location reporting. The data provided through this technology will allow for greater efficiency in terms of scheduling, planning and maintenance of the NJ Transit bus network.
MyBus Now builds on NJ Transit's “MyBus” system, which launched in October 2010. Based on a system of bus stop ID numbers—unique five-digit numbers NJ Transit has assigned to each of its bus routes—MyBus enables customers who have cell phones with SMS (text messaging) capabilities to receive bus schedule information for a specific stop directly to their cell phones. Customers can optain their bus stop ID online at njtransit.com, or from MyBus signs posted at bus stops statewide.
How to Use MyBus Now
- From a desktop computer: Visit mybusnow.njtransit.com. Select either “bus times” or “bus map.”
- Bus Times: Enter your five-digit bus stop ID or select your bus route, direction of travel and bus stop from the drop-down menus.
- Bus Map: Click “Routes” and select up to 10 routes, or click “Find Stop” and follow the directions in the dialog box to view the real-time location of buses on a Google map. Buses are represented by bus icons that display an arrow to indicate the direction of travel. Hover over the bus icon to display the estimated arrival times for the next four bus stops. Click the bus icon for additional options, including links to “route schedule” (PDF of the bus timetable) and “route progress” (a timeline of the bus trip by stop).
- From a web-enabled smartphone: Visit njtransit.com and select MyBus Now to view a streamlined version of the web page. Select your bus route from the list or enter your five-digit bus stop ID.
- From a cell phone with SMS-text messaging: Text your five-digit bus stop ID to MyBus (69287). Instead of returning the next scheduled trips, MyBus Now will provide real-time information for routes in the pilot program. For all other routes, MyBus will continue to provide information for scheduled trips.
Systemwide Improvement to “My Bus”
MyBus customers can now receive schedule information for a specific route by texting MyBus (69287), followed by a space and the route number. For example, to find schedule information for the No. 73 specifically for the bus stop located at Newark Penn Station (bus stop ID number 18835), text MyBus (69287) the following text: 18835 73. The system will return only scheduled trips on the No. 73 route, even though the bus stop is served by other bus routes.
About NJ TRANSIT
NJ Transit is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 895,000 weekday trips on 261 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines and through Access Link paratransit service. It is the second largest transit system in the country with 164 rail stations, 61 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.