Toronto

TTC providing real-time bus schedules

The Toronto Transit Commission is launching a new service on Monday that will give riders real-time information about the location of its buses.

Information available online, through text

The Toronto Transit Commission launched a new service on Monday that will give riders real-time information about the location of its buses.

The new program, which uses GPS to track the location of TTC vehicles, provides an up-to-the-minute projection of when a bus will arrive at any of the city's nearly 9,300 stops, as well as another 800 stops in the GTA.

The information is available online through NextBus.com  — which provides an arrival time for the next three buses — or via text message by sending a number specific to each stop to 898882.

The new service is part of the TTC's Next Vehicle Arrival System, which aims to provide riders with timely information about when vehicles will arrive.

Similar information has been available for streetcars since 2010.

"It's something that our customers have been asking for. It's something we recognize as added value to the transit experience in the city," said Brad Ross, director of communications for the TTC.

Although the text message service is currently free, it could cost up to $0.15 per text in a few months.

CBC News reporter Kumutha Ramanathan tested the service Monday on the Dufferin Street bus route, one of the busiest in the city.

She sent a text message and received a reply in less than five seconds.

She was told the bus would arrive in two minutes and the prediction wasn't far off. It arrived in three minutes.

However, the service won't be available at every bus stop just yet.

It will take another 12 to 18 months to implement the program across the city.