Talking Buses Project
The Talking Buses project has added ten additional bus lines, resulting in a total of 79 talking routes! This includes all local routes, 3 Transbay routes, and some routes that have limited hours/days of operation. It’s a big step toward reaching our goal of having automated announcements on every bus route throughout the AC Transit System. (AC Transit also supports the automated announcements on the City of Oakland’s Broadway Shuttle.)
Successful operation of the talking bus system depends on how well the aging computer system on each bus uses the current bus schedule and annunciation data. The feedback that AC Transit receives from customers about the project’s success (as well as any malfunctions of the system) is very important and greatly appreciated. Thank you for sending your questions and suggestions via the customer feedback form. Let us know what you think!
Overview of the Talking Buses Project
More and more bus passengers are hearing “next-stop announcements” as part of the District’s Automated Vehicle Announcement (“Talking Buses”) project. “Approaching 12th and Oak, Courthouse, Laney College” is an example of a next-stop announcement, designed to assist visually impaired passengers identify desired stops, landmarks, and transfer locations, and to comply with objectives of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The automated announcements heard over the bus PA system work like this: words are recorded and joined together using a special computer system to compose each audio announcement. The announcements are then tied to geographic locations, and are triggered to play as the bus reaches these points along the route. Speakers near the front door of the bus also make bus line and destination announcements that are audible outside the bus to help boarding passengers. Short advisory messages may also be played over the PA on a time-based schedule.
For more background and detail on the project, read the General Manager Memos linked below under “Documents.”