Travelers using city buses in Queens will be able to use their smartphones to track the location of their rides in real time beginning on March 9.
In a statement issued Monday, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said MTA Bus Time, a program already in place in Staten Island, Manhattan and the Bronx, will be expanded to include all bus routes in Queens and Brooklyn.
The MTA said 164 bus routes and more than 9,000 bus stops will be incorporated into the system, which uses GPS information from more than 5,500 city buses.
“MTA Bus Time is yet another way we are trying to improve service for our customers,” Carmen Bianco, president of MTA New York City Transit, said. “As we have seen with train arrival information in the subway, customers appreciate when they know the train will show up at the station or stop.”
The service will work in three ways. Residents can go to bustime.mta.info on any web-enabled smartphone or desktop computer and enter a bus route, intersection, landmark, address or bus stop code. A map will be displayed that will allow the user to click on a bus stop or bus for more information.
Riders also will be able to text an intersection or street address to 511123 from any cell phone to receive a listing of local bus routes. They can select a route and direction to determine the location of a bus in terms of miles and stops from the user’s location.
Those whose smartphones have a QR code reader can scan the QR code printed on Guide-A-Ride schedules posted at bus stops.
Information on nearby buses will automatically appear on the phone screen.
Because of Hurricane Sandy back in 2012, some bus stops do not yet have Guide-A-Ride showing QR or bus stop codes, but the MTA said those will be coming soon.
Further details and information about the program can be found online at bustime.mta.info.