Dublin, 2 May 2006 – Bus Éireann is making a €4.2m investment in satellite navigation technology across its entire fleet so that customers can access arrivals information in real time on a range of platforms including the web, text message and directly at bus stations.
It is claimed that Ireland is the first country where a bus operator has rolled out a global positioning system (GPS) on a nationwide basis; such systems are normally available in individual cities.
Siemens Ireland has won the contract for the deal which involves installing onboard equipment and providing the necessary technical infrastructure for the Bus Éireann depots. Every bus in the fleet will be fitted with a specially designed computer capable of establishing its exact location using satellite technology. This computer will also hold the bus timetable as well as the exact location of all Bus Éireann stops.
The system will communicate with the bus ticket machine to establish the route and direction in which it is travelling and will use this, the timetable and its current position to calculate the exact time it will take to travel to the next stop. This data will then be transferred via a mobile link to a central computer which in turn will distribute it to the website, to mobile phones and electronic display signs at bus stations.
The €4.2m investment comprises €3m from the Department of Transport under the National Development Plan, with Bus Éireann funding the rest through its own resources. Dr John Lynch, chairman of CIÉ and Bus Éireann, said that the investment would significantly improve the service offered to Bus Éireann’s 48 million customers per year. Members of the public will be able to find out when the next bus is due to arrive based on accurate real-time information rather than estimates or scheduled arrival times.