Arrival predictions make customers think transit service has improved. Perceived wait times in London dropped from 11.9 to 8.6 minutes due to the Countdown System.

Experience from real-time bus arrival prediction at stops using London's Countdown System.

London,United Kingdom

Summary Information

The TRCP Synthesis Report on Real-Time Bus Arrival Information Systems examines a few case studies from both inside the U.S. and internationally in order to examine the state of real-time arrival systems. Chapter 5 examines the reaction of customers and the media to these arrival systems.


Surveys and system monitoring conducted after the installation of dynamic message signs (DMS) at bus stops and shelters to provide real time bus arrival information for passengers received positive feedback from riders of the route where the system was tested in London. The key findings from a system analysis in London can be summarized as follows:
  • Availability of the system was more than 99%.
  • Accuracy of the information on the signs was within plus or minus one minute, 50% of the time and within plus or minus two minutes, 75% of the time
  • Ninety percent of the riders look at the Countdown signs at least once during their waiting time at the stop.
  • Of passengers interviewed, 65% felt that they waited for a shorter period of time when Countdown was present, with the perceived waiting time dropping from 11.9 to 8.6 minutes.
  • Of passengers interviewed, 64% thought that service reliability had improved since Countdown was introduced, although service reliability had actually decreased since the signs were deployed.

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TCRP Synthesis 48: Real-Time Bus Arrival Information Systems

Author: Schweiger, Carol L.

Published By: Transit Cooperative Research Program, Transportation Research Board

Sponored by the Federal Transit Adminisration

Source Date: 2003



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Related Metropolitan Integration Links

Link 14a: Transit Management to Traveler Information


real-time data, traveler information, public transit, AVL

Benefit ID: 2011-00737