Our friends at Orange (we like them, they give SPV E200s and E100s away in massive competitions) are now tackling the public transport problem in the UK. Is there nothing they can’t do?!
Orange are already helping the UK’s public services with crime-cutting, so the bus problem should be a doddle. :) Why? Well, I’m sure we’re familiar with the phrase, “You wait for one bus, then three come all at once”. Annoying? Yes. So Orange and bus company Metroline have set about tackling the problem.
Metroline will use GPS satellite tracking technology over Orange to locate each bus, then send a text message to the drivers dashboard to either speed up or slow down. This will give a more even spacing between each bus, and prevent poor customers freezing at the bus stops. In fact, earlier this year a pilot system ran in London and saw 70 per cent improvements in “excess waiting time” statistics. Coo!
All this ain’t cheap – it is costing Metroline around Â£6m, but it will (over the next two years) become part of every single Metroline bus. Sean O’Shea, commercial director at Metroline, described it as “probably the biggest IT project we have ever done”. In fact, they’re looking at possible extensions to this – to include passenger information at bus-stops to show when the next bus is due to arrive.