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Transit schedules versus real-time transit info

Posting in Cities

Why cities increasingly are investing in dynamic information for commuters and transit passengers, compared with 'published' information.

The city of Richmond in British Columbia has teamed up with both Novax Industries and wireless network technology provider Tropos Networks to help provide more up-to-date information about local and regional transit schedules than is offered up by published transportation schedules.

Here's how the solution works: Wireless sensors communicating with the Novax InfoPOD software communicate with the Tropos wireless broadband mesh network - offering information about transit performance that is driven by actual performance rather than expectations. Relevant data is displayed over an LCD that could be up to five miles away in a bus stop, providing passengers with more specific information abut arrival information, especially how expectations might different from published schedules.

Says Tropos vice president of engineering Mike Bailey: "Accurate time to arrival information generation for buses operating in mixed traffic has been problematic. The Tropos wireless mesh network makes it possible to report the progress of a bus in great detail to ensure timely accuracy that was only possible for rail systems with a dedicated right of way and highly specialized operational infrastructure."

Tropos is pretty involved with the whole municipal network play; communications being one of the biggest factors in the smart cities movement. Here are two other applications where Tropos is helping smart cities break ground:

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Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure