If you haven’t rode in a HART bus lately, then you’ll notice some significant changes.
- First off, you’ll notice that all the busses are equipped with audio and video surveillence. In this way, your overall safety on the bus has been increased (and those misbehaving people won’t be able to get away with their crimes on board a bus anymore). PSTA and other transit agencies have had surveillence systems on their busses for quite some time now and HART quickly followed suit.
- Secondly, all busses will be equipped over the next year with GPS systems. You may have read articles in the newspaper regarding the addition of GPS to HART busses. But you may have wondered “when is it going to happen?”. All the busses I rode on today were equipped with the GPS interfaces, but the system won’t be fully functional until the end of the year, one bus driver told me. Eventually, the addition of the GPS system onboard all busses will lead to display signs at transfer centers and other bus stops, indicating the next departure and whether or not the bus is on time.
- Third, you will notice that in the center of the photo, the illuminated sign that lights up when a patron requests a stop has been replaced by the “Next Stop” scrolling display by Luminator These signs currently only display the current time and date, and flash “STOP REQUESTED” when a patron requests a stop. However, once the GPS and other integrated systems are fully functional, these signs will display major intersections, landmarks, and transfer centers.
- Finally, as part of this system upgrade, you will notice that the “Integrated Voice System” by Luminator is partly functional. When a patron requests a stop and the “Next Stop” display has flashed “STOP REQUESTED”, an automated voice will say “STOP REQUESTED” in both English and Spanish. Once the voice systems are in place and fully functional, the system will announce major intersections, landmarks, and transfer centers…allowing the bus drivers to better focus on the road when driving.