Photo by Christina Santucci
By Philip Newman

Bus Time is heading for Queens bus stops and its arrival is imminent.

“We have completed boroughwide installations in Queens and Brooklyn and are currently fine-tuning software,” said a Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman. “We are on schedule to go online in the next several weeks.”

Bus Time will enable straphangers to find out how long a wait they will experience until their bus arrives. They will also be able to determine where their bus is at a given time.

“I applaud the MTA for using technology to better their services for customers,” said state Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Ozone Park), a supporter of Bus Time. “Waiting for a bus in Queens should not be a guessing game.

“Bringing the Bus Time app to Queens will encourage ridership and improve the overall experience of public transit by reducing travel uncertainty, which often leads to more Queens residents depending on motor vehicles as a means for transportation.”

The U.S. census indicates that parts of Queens have some of the longest commuting times in the country, with nearly half traveling from the outerboroughs, including Queens, to their jobs.

The MTA said Geographic Positioning Systems have been installed in more than 1,000 buses and more than 3,300 computer databases at bus stops in Staten Island, Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx as well as Queens.

MTA Bus Time uses GPS technology hardware and wireless communications technology to track the real-time location of buses. The innovation lets riders use computers, cellphones, smartphones or other tech devices to determine when the next bus will arrive at their stop, even if they are still at home, the office, shopping or dining.

MTA Bus Time is available using a desktop website and a mobile website — which can also be used as an accessibility-friendly, text-only desktop website — on iPhones, Androids, BlackBerrys or other smartphones and by using SMS text messaging on any mobile phone.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at or phone at 718-260-4536.

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