Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017 (Halifax, NS) – Halifax Transit is pleased to advise residents that beginning on Monday, Jan. 30, automated stop announcements will be rolled out on all bus routes following the initial six-week pilot phase.
Automated stop announcements assist hearing and visually impaired passengers by providing audio and visual announcements of the next stop on board buses, as well as exterior announcements at bus stops of the route name and direction of travel. These cues mean that riders no longer need to rely on the bus operator or other passengers for information during their trip. Tourists, and those passengers who are unfamiliar with Halifax Transit service, also benefit from advanced notice of upcoming stops.
The pilot phase, which was initially launched on 13 select routes in mid-December, provided staff with the opportunity to better understand how the system worked, collect valuable feedback from operators and riders on their experience, and identify some areas where the functionality could be improved.
As a result of important feedback received from operators and riders during the pilot phase, staff identified an issue that occurred occasionally where stop announcements would ‘jam up’ in the queue, and then begin playing later during the route. This issue appeared at random times, regardless of the bus type and the route, but staff worked with the vendor to implement a solution, which has been applied on the entire bus fleet.
Halifax Transit also heard feedback related to the volume levels for on board announcements. Initial adjustments have been made and are part of the full fleet rollout. In addition, staff are in the process of enabling a system feature that will automatically adjust the volume of the internal announcements based on ambient noise levels. This feature will continue to be monitored and modified until the optimal volume setting is achieved, which will ensure that all individuals receive the full benefit from this service.
For more information and Frequently Asked Questions on automated stop announcements, visit www.halifax.ca/transit/StopAnnouncements/index.php.
Halifax Transit thanks operators and passengers for their feedback during the pilot phase of this project, and will continue to focus on providing new services and infrastructure upgrades designed to improve the accessibility and reliability of the overall transit service.