Thursday, January 13, 2011

Transit Display on 14th Street NW

DDOT, the District Department of Transportation, has been on a roll the last few years. Of course Bikeshare and Circulator have been huge hits. The agency's transit programs has even spurred Metro to attempt to up its game, to varying degrees of success.

Here's another project from DDOT that I hope gets a widespread roll out at some point. Pictured is a 32 inch flatscreen just inside the windows of Reeves Center at 14th and U Sts NW. The screen shows the live availability status of area Metrobus, Metrorail, Circulator bus, Bikeshare and even Zipcar. DDOT calls it a Multi-Modal Digital Display.

Amazing! I was at the corner recently, late night, and could quickly glance to see if I should wait on a 50s bus, try to hop on a Circulator or head down underground and get onto a train headed home. As of this writing, the Circulator, Zipcar, Bikeshare and Metrorail availability and arrivals are real time. Mertrobus times are based on the hard schedule provided by Metro, but DDOT says within two months they'll list real NextBus-provided estimates for arrival.

DDOT wants to expand the program, but don't count on seeing it in Mount Pleasant or your neighborhood anytime soon. They have plans to deploy just three additional big multi-modal screens at other locations in DC. The city is looking for funds to expand a bus-arrival-only version at bus shelters all over the city. Riders can currently call Metro or use internet enabled smartphones to get real time bus arrival info through NextBus.