Bus countdown clocks see influx of cash from lawmakers

The funds were allocated as part of the Participatory Budgeting process.

Countdown clocks at bus stops are so popular, two City Council members have allocated $720,000 of their own funds to get more installed.

The money for signs that let riders know when the next bus will arrive was allocated as part of the City Council’s participatory budgeting process, where some members let their constituents vote on how their discretionary funds are spent in the district.

Constituents in Councilman Ben Kallos’ Upper East Side district voted to spend $300,000 for 15 electronic signs on the westbound stops of the M96, M86, M79 and M66 crosstown buses.

Kallos then set aside an additional $340,000 for 17 electronic signs on M31 downtown and westbound stops.

Councilman Eric Ulrich’s southern Queens district will get four new countdown clocks paid for with $80,000 in discretionary funds.

The MTA’s Bus Time project tracks in real time every bus in the city and makes the data available for independent app developers so riders can get the bus arrival time on their mobile devices, home computers and by text message.

The council members’ discretionary money will be allocated to the city’s Department of Transportation once a budget is finalized by the end of June .

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed the amount of total money allocated.