DoITT, LinkNYC and Council Member Lander Announce Real Time Bus Information to Launch on Links

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK –  The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), LinkNYC and City Council Member Brad Lander announced today the launch of a bus time arrival pilot program across 29 Links in Brooklyn City Council District 39. Using bus time data, arrival information for buses within a short walking distance of Links will be broadcast on the 55-inch digital displays on the sides of Link kiosks. LinkNYC will launch bus arrival time network-wide throughout all five boroughs in the coming weeks.

“From voter registration to healthcare enrollment, and now with real-time bus information on Brooklyn kiosks, LinkNYC has once again proven to be more than just fast and free Wi-Fi,” said Samir Saini, Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. “I am proud to be a part of this expansive initiative where we can leverage technology to enhance public services—this is what keeps New York City on the leading edge of urban innovation. We thank Council Member Lander for working with us and look forward to expanding this service to bring value to New Yorkers in all five boroughs.”

“We thank Council Member Lander for his advocacy around the need for real-time bus information on Links, which we will roll out network-wide in the coming weeks,” said Jen Hensley, President of Link. “LinkNYC isn’t just the world’s largest, fastest free Wi-Fi network, it’s a platform to make life in New York City easier through delivering relevant local content and information.”

“I want to thank LinkNYC and the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) for their openness to using the City’s technology and resources to rapidly expand access to real-time bus arrival information, citywide,” says Council Member Brad Lander. “The ‘real-time passenger information’ (RTPI) bus clocks we’ve installed in our district and across the City prove that knowing when the next bus is coming is a real quality-of-life improvement for NYC’s bus riders. Now, thanks to LinkNYC and DoITT, riders will have access to that information on thousands of LinkNYC consoles along bus routes citywide, within just a couple of weeks.”

LinkNYC is the first-of-its-kind communications network replacing the city’s payphones to build the world’s fastest and largest free public Wi-Fi network. Since Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the public launch of LinkNYC in early 2016, more than 1,700 Links are installed across all five boroughs, with thousands more set to be deployed over the next few years.

Council Member Peter Koo, Chair of the Technology Committee, stated, “In an age of constant mass transit unpredictability, providing New Yorkers with more readily available real time bus information will help commuters to plan more efficiently, and improve the quality of life for everyone. Thank you to LinkNYC, DoITT and Council Member Lander for working on this common sense technological improvement that will ultimately make the complications of commuting via mass transit a little bit easier for everyone.”

John Raskin, Executive Director of the Riders Alliance, said, “City buses need deep interventions before they will function adequately, and part of the path to turning around our failing bus service is to get more information into the hands of bus riders, in as many ways as possible. Adding bus arrival times to LinkNYC kiosks is a smart and creative way to help bus riders save time, and it will help make the bus a more modern, convenient option for New Yorkers to choose. Thanks to Council Member Brad Lander and DoITT for working together to make this improvement.”

“I'm envious!” said Noel Hidalgo, BetaNYC's Executive Director. “As LinkNYC devices have grown to provide subway status updates, weather, sport scores, community meeting notifications, and school closures it is only logical that they incorporate real-time transportation data. I'd love to see more open data on these screens. I would love to be walking down the street and see subway and bus countdowns, status updates, and citibike station counts. Also, I can image a future where bike screen line counts are advertised. Kudos to CM Lander for being one of the City’s savviest civic hackers.”

More than 3.5 million people – more than the populations of the cities of Chicago, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Dallas, or San Diego – have used the free gigabit Wi-Fi service, with tens of thousands of new users joining the network each week. LinkNYC Wi-Fi subscribers have used more than 3,625,000 GB of data used, the equivalent of streaming 580 million songs and 3 million video hours, sending 36 billion emails and 123 billion messages.

In addition to free Wi-Fi, each Link offers free phone calls, device charging, and a tablet to access maps, 311, the social services platform Aunt Bertha, and access to 911. All of Link’s services are 100% free for users and come at no cost to taxpayers.

About the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT)

DoITT is the technology core of New York City government, working with over 100 city agencies and entities to deliver the tech they need to serve and empower New Yorkers. DoITT’s technology solutions help keep the five boroughs safe, strong, and vibrant. For more information, visitnyc.gov/DoITT or visit us onFacebook orTwitter.