Council members fund countdown clocks for bus stops

A group of City Council members are expanding the number of bus countdown clocks around the five boroughs with nearly $2.8 million in funding.

Funding from 11 council members to install more than 100 clocks that count down when the next bus is arriving was included in this year’s budget, according to grassroots transit group, Riders Alliance.

“These clocks will be a great service to frustrated riders waiting in the heat or the cold for their buses,” said Riders Alliance executive director John Raskin.

“With real-time arrival information, riders can decide if they’d rather walk, or wait in a store, or take a different bus that might arrive sooner.”

Council members from each borough paid for countdown clocks in their districts. The Riders Alliance wants the clocks installed in 2015 and for the Department of Transportation to consult city council members about where they should go.

The countdown clocks use GPS technology that the MTA installed in its bus fleet. Real-time bus tracking is available on independent transit apps and the MTA’s Bus Time app.

The DOT installed the first two countdown clocks on Staten Island as part of a pilot project. The clocks cost about $20,000 to install.

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