Wellington Regional Council plans a real-time passenger information system to tell passengers how far away their bus or train is, but can’t yet predict the arrival time of the project because of uncertain funding.
The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) provided funding last year to develop the system specification and project documentation.
“In October/November 2008, a funding application will be submitted to NZTA for system procurement, implementation and maintenance,” the council says in a request for Expression of Interest (EOI).
“The release of [request for tender] documentation may be dependent upon the decision processes of the NZTA,” though this is provisionally scheduled for the end of December.
“No contract will be awarded prior to confirmation of available funding from NZTA and Council,” says the EOI document. NZTA is expected to fund 80% of the project, says project leader Anke Kole at the council.
“We are working in close collaboration with NZTA and other stakeholders, but I can’t definitely say yes or no on funding,” she says.
Kole points to a statement on the NZTA website that indicates a commitment to improving information services associated with public transport as well as the transport itself.
The project will provide real-time location tracking of all public buses and trains in the greater Wellington region (including the Hutt, Porirua, Kapiti and the Wairarapa) and real-time information displays in vehicles and at bus stops and train stations. Only 150 stops and stations will be covered in the first stage of the project.
The information will also be accessible from a website and by SMS messaging. The information system will also interface with traffic signal priority equipment and electronic ticket machines on buses. The latter will only transfer “service registration information” recording when the bus begins operating a shift.
After a pilot on one bus in late 2009 or early 2010 the first phase of the system is provisionally scheduled to begin rollout on March 1, 2010.