STA buses to join 21st century
September 16, 2014
“Talking bus” route and stop announcements are being added to STA buses. Many other cities have had these “smart bus” systems for some time – audible announcements are required by the Americans with Disability Act: STA Begins “Smart Bus” Initiative – Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com.
King County began experimenting with smart bus and automated stop announcements in 2001. Pierce (County) Transit added these features in 2009. Los Angeles began adding this in 2006. Spokane is just starting to build out its Smart Bus Initiative in 2014 as part of a ten year upgrade project. The Federal government allocated taxpayer funding for the Smart Bus Technology Modernization program in 2008. Funding for Spokane was buried in a bill by Senator Patty Murray in 2007. More information about the “intelligent” transportation system for the area is in this SRTC document.
As usual, Spokane is years behind but pretends its hip and cool when its merely catching up. Businesses looking to be on the forward edge are not going to locate in a community that is perpetually years behind. It’s nice that STA is catching up but let’s not pretend we are the “bus of the future”.