Bus users in some parts of the Isles may soon know not only when their buses are supposed to arrive - but also whether they are on their way.
With the islands bus service still stricken by the impact of Covid-19, and paper timetables a thing of the past, the Highlands and Islands Transport Partnership is stepping in with funding and digital technology to extend their Regional Real Time Information System.
Some signs have already been delivered utilising Smarter Choices Smarter Places funding. HITRANS had earlier supplied the screens used at Stornoway Bus Station on South Beach.
The information being supplied via the screes is based on the daily schedules at present but HITRANS are working with operators to develop tracking facility so that the displays can show real-time information for services.
In addition, the signs may show a bigger range of information in the future…for instance, not just the final destination but also the key places en route.
A HITRANS spokesperson explained that in terms of the destinations shown, the display is configurable. It will be based on the final destination at present but they hope to improve this in partnership with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and operators so that it highlights the most useful destination for passengers. There may also be scope to show not just the final destination but also stops in larger settlements en route.
They hope to expand the number of stops covered this summer.
Bus users report there are digital signs at the Cromwell Street stop adjacent to the old Stornoway bus station site and at the hospital. Installation began a month ago. The signs shows the time of the next bus and what number it is. It also has a button that you press and an automated voice tells you when the next bus is.