Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Low Cost Bus Arrival Notification

Using radio waves and light at Bus Stop.
  [vote for,

The bus has a transmitter set to an assigned frequency.
The bus stop has a pole with a reciever. When the reciever first picks up a signal on the correct frequency, a yellow light lights. When the signal attains the set signal strength, the yellow light bulb turns off while an orange light lights. When the signal attains another, higher level of signal strength, the light switches to red. (I'm guessing that it would be set to turn red when the bus is almost in visual range).

When the bus arrives and opens the doors, a low powered signal pulse is sent out which the Arrival notification reciever interprets as - shut down for 10 min's. This is so the Arrival lights aren't Notifying people of a bus that has already left, but still in radio transmition range.

People can buy a smaller version to put in their house, as well, so they don't have to stand out in the rain or 100 degree heat for 45 min's waiting for the bus. (or for the kids - "forget about making the beds, guys, the light just turned orange".)

Zimmy, Aug 27 2006

(?) Low Cost in relation to this http://www.metrocou...ealtimemonitors.htm
This would be better, but not possible, cost wise for school buses [Zimmy, Aug 27 2006, last modified Aug 28 2006]

(?) Brighton buses. http://www.buses.co...ompany/company.html
Satellite tracking of buses delivers real time updates to the bus stops. Cell phone alerts are also available I believe. [DrBob, Aug 28 2006]

(?) Bus arrival times http://buses.citytr...rtinfo/service/jsp/
Brighton & Hove City Council, real time bus arrival information. [DrBob, Aug 28 2006]


       [marked-for-deletion] Baked but with arrival times displayed rather than using pretty lights. See link.
DrBob, Aug 28 2006

       [DrBob], the link has a line saying "We are currently investing 3 million (pounds*?) a year .." (*I am not sure how to make that symbol). They probably aren't investing the whole 3 million on the Notification system, but I would guess it's not cheap.   

       I saw the GPS system, but I thought it would be too expensive to implement for school buses. So I tried to think of a cheaper way to do almost the same thing.
Zimmy, Aug 28 2006

       Zimmy, the GPS system is in and working and has been for about three years. The £3million is being invested in upgrading the buses not on the GPS system.
DrBob, Aug 28 2006

       That last link (Bus arrival times) is pretty cool.   

       I just checked. I didn't realize the cost of GPS units had come down that much. This WOULD be more easily done that way. Sorry everyone.
Zimmy, Aug 28 2006

       I finally managed to dig up some figures on costs. £1.4million to set up and install the system across the whole city. The bus stops all now have an electronic board showing the arrival times of the next 3 buses.

No need to apologise. It's a good idea. It's been done is all!
DrBob, Aug 28 2006

       £ - aha! Are there different keyboards in the UK, or does everyone have to do it Alt+0163?
Zimmy, Aug 28 2006

       Different keyboard I guess. The £ sign is shift 3.
DrBob, Aug 28 2006

       heh. mine is # at that location - sometimes called pound.
Zimmy, Aug 28 2006

       //The bus stops all now have an electronic board showing the arrival times of the next 3 buses.//
Since they typically all arrive at the same time, only one line is used...
Ling, Aug 28 2006


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