The City of Cape Town is preparing to launch a new system which will allow it to remotely track its public MyCiTi buses and communicate their locations and times to commuters.

The city’s Transport and Urban Development Authority began piloting the Advanced Public Transport Management System (APTMS) last year on the N2 Express service between Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha and Cape Town.

It’s anticipated that the MyCiTi Control Centre will be fully operational within the next two to three months – once the APTMS hardware, software and related system is fully installed.

“Once the APTMS is fully completed and we are satisfied with the outcome of the pilot phase, the MyCiTi Control Centre will be tracking and monitoring each and every MyCiTi bus across the city,” said MMC for Transport and Urban Development, Brett Herron.

“We will therefore know the exact location of every bus at any given point in time. Furthermore, the Control Centre will be able to communicate directly with the drivers at any given time, thereby being able to forewarn and divert them from any incident along the route. The system will enable us to keep track of delays and we will be able to inform commuters about the departure time of every bus on every route on the passenger information displays (PIDs) at all of the MyCiTi stations,” Herron added.

There are currently 377 MyCiTi busses, ferrying over 68 000 passengers every weekday over 40 routes across the city, 42 stations and more than 700 bus stops.

Almost 40% of MyCiTi busses have been fitted with APTMS software and hardware, including CCTV cameras.

The system indicates to commuters in how many minutes the next bus on a particular route is to depart from that particular platform. Voice recordings will announce the names of each stop a bus approaches.

In addition, the 555 bus drivers who are currently employed by the MyCiTi vehicle operating companies are being trained to operate the bus communications system which allows them to be in constant voice contact with the MyCiTi Control Centre in Goodwood.

“Being able to communicate with the Control Centre from their seats as and when needed, the bus drivers can avoid risky situations by requesting assistance with route deviations,” the city said.

[Source and image – City of Cape Town]