Metro said it is working to try to improve its GPS tracking system that gives riders projected arrival times at bus stops and expects to make changes to some bus routes in the region.
Officials in the transit agency’s bus division are expected to give a briefing Thursday to Metro’s board of directors on NextBus,the GPS service and the bus changes.
The NextBus system has had a history of troubles. Many riders complain that it is unreliable. As Metro’s fleet of buses ages, the equipment needs to be replaced, according to Metro officials.
According to presentation papers from Metro, they plan to make several improvements to NextBus, including:
* Update the NextBus service so it gives information every 30 seconds versus 2 minutes.
* Install more signs at bus stops and rail stations to tell riders when the next bus is coming.
* Replace equipment in 2013 that will allow “all buses to predict” arrival times. Not all of Metro’s older buses have equipment that works to provide the NextBus information.
The transit agency is also proposing to make more than two dozen changes to several bus routes in an attempt to try to improve its service reliability, avoid traffic and meet customer demands.
Some of the changes to bus routes in the District, Maryland and Virginia are being made to alleviate crowding on some routes, give more realistic time schedules for routes where buses are routinely late, add trips to some existing routes so service runs later in the evening, and eliminate routes that duplicate others, according to presentation papers from Metro.
Metro officials said the proposed changes would not increase operating cost and not require additional buses.
The agency plans to hold public hearings the week of Oct. 10 and then get approval from the board to make changes in November.
The changes would likely go into effect in mid-2012.
Those changes are being done to deal with traffic congestion, eliminate buses coming too close together and get rid of routes that don’t have enough ridership.
Follow me on Twitter @postmetrogirl.