- The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will test digital information screens in some buses later this year, according to a tweet from Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
- The screens, similar to those on train platforms, will show real-time travel information, including estimated arrival time at stops, transfer information and service alerts. They will display ads and public service announcements, and will be able to show a feed from the bus security cameras, the Chicago Tribune reports.
- Four different vendors reportedly will install the test screens at no cost to the CTA.
A CTA spokesperson noted more than half of riders on the entire transit system use the bus, but that transportation mode has lagged trains in technology, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. CTA wants to gather feedback from from riders about the limited number of pilot program screens before considering. If the agency decides to pursue additional screens, the project would go to bid.
This is the second announcement in a week about improvements to the CTA bus system. The city previously stated its intention to put $5 million into the 2019 budget — which the city council is scheduled to vote on in November — for infrastructure and safety improvements along two of the most popular bus routes.
The wave of improvements come at a time when bus ridership across the country has dipped. Modernizing transit and providing more amenities and convenience for passengers might not completely solve the ridership problem, but it's a step in the right direction.