Transit Windsor starts testing out automated stop announcements

Buses that speak up have started appearing on the city's streets as Transit Windsor begins rolling out a new Intelligent Transportation System this week. LED displays and an automated voice now announce stops around the city.

An automated voice and LED readout now announce next stops

Susan Neveu-Bhatti is totally blind and says Windsor Transit's new Intelligent Transportation System will help make sure she never misses her stop. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

Susan Neveu-Bhatti is totally blind, forcing her to rely on bus drivers to tell her when she reaches her stop, but thanks to a new notification system the bus itself is making sure she always knows where she is.

Windsor Transit started rolling out an Intelligent Transportation System this week in an effort to improve rider experience. Now LED displays and automated voices announce next stops.

"I liked it. I thought it was really great," said Neveu-Bhatti after riding along for a few blocks. "It's really going to be a big help for everybody. The vision impaired, community the elderly."

In the past, she said drivers could sometimes forget to tell her when they passed her stop, leaving her disoriented and confused. 

"I got lost last Friday because I asked the driver to let me off at a certain stop and she passed it and turned down another street. Without the audio display, I got completely turned around and completely lost," Neveu-Bhatti explained.

Windsor Transit executive director, Pat Delmore. (Peter Duck/CBC)

That kind of incident is exactly what Windsor Transit executive director, Pat Delmore, hopes the new system will stop.

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"Visitors to our city that are unfamiliar with our routes or our road system will be able to see it in action, be able to hear where they're going," he added.

The system has been installed on 10 buses so far and Delmore said future plans include a real-time app that will allow riders to see where their bus is and when it will arrive.

LED displays and an automated voice now announce stops on Windsor Transit. (Dale Molnar/CBC)