Eleven bus lines will initially participate in the trial.
Live passenger data from some of Melbourne’s busiest bus routes have been added to Public Transport Victoria’s RideSpace occupancy tool, allowing commuters to avoid congestion in real time.
The service allows passengers to view bus congestion in real-time. Users can see how many buses are available on a particular route, helping them plan their journeys.’
RideSpace has the latest information on your train or bus departure times, so you know if there are any delays or even departures earlier.
The trail will join eleven bus lines and more in the coming months. In the future, however, the program will be extended to all major city routes. It comes a year after the tool started to give travelers on Melbourne’s rail network a glimpse into the crowds at stations and on trains.
The routes, described as “some of” [its] the most high-frequency and high-traffic ways through Melbourne’s inner and outer suburbs, are 190, 402, 404, 420, 431, 432, 471, 498, 552, 601, and 623.
RideSpace uses data collected by passenger counting sensors, predictive modeling technology, and Myki tabs to display current and projected load factors.
Congestion – considered a real-time estimate only if the service has a built-in sensor – is then displayed on a color-coded indicator with four levels ranging from green (very soft) to red (very busy).
The Guardian reported that RideSpace will be launched in February 2021 as a standalone online website and that the data will be available directly via Google Maps shortly afterward.
Similar predictive technology is already being used in NSW to display real-time seat availability on the Waratah train fleet and buses, allowing passengers to check seat availability before boarding.
Public Transport Secretary Ben Carroll said that adding real-time bus occupancy data to RideSpace would mean more Victorians can plan their journey in advance.
“RideSpace is already helping Victorians monitor how busy or quiet the train network is, and for the first time, bus passengers can now choose the most comfortable services,” he said.
Carroll added, “by testing this information on 11 initial bus routes, we are determining the way new transport information is prevented for Victorians and learning how passengers want to receive it”.
The agency is also working to bring the data to third-party apps and the existing digital channels.
PTV continues to explore adding tram and regional train occupancy data to RideSpace as a future phase.
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