Device Shows Bus Location (May, 1938)

Device Shows Bus Location

LONDON Transport plans to try an experiment never before attempted anywhere in the world, and if successful for regular use, will give the main office of a bus transportation company a “picture” of the city’s moving buses.

Each bus will carry on its roof a coil of wire through which will pass an alternating current. At certain fixed points a wire will be suspended across the road where the bus will pass. As it passes, it induces a current in the wire which in turn records the passing on the “clock.”

5 comments
  1. Charlene says: April 28, 20101:17 pm

    I wonder if this was ever put into place.

    The local transit system has just started a real-time bus info text service. Text your stop number or address to the number and it texts back a list of the next five buses expected at the stop.

  2. Charlie says: April 28, 20104:31 pm

    New York is just getting these on their second subway line which is amazing considering all of the trains are centrally dispatched and they know exactly where they are.

  3. George says: April 28, 20105:10 pm

    The buses here, Cape Cod, have had online GPS tracking for several years. Considering buses only run a few times a day on some routes, it’s a helpful tool.

  4. Greg says: April 29, 20106:02 am

    I don’t know if these were ever implemented, but nowadays most London bus stops have scrolling LED displays showing the next few buses and when they’ll arrive, and they have done for years. Same for the tube, for as long as I can remember.

    I was actually very surprised that the New York subway didn’t have them, last time I was there. It struck me as a pretty basic feature…

  5. JoeyJoe says: April 30, 20104:26 am

    I work for TfL (the modern branding of London Transport) and we have recently finished upgrading the buses to be tracked by GPS. Before last year the way they were tracked was by having pole-mounted beacons on the roadside with transponders in the buses, which is essentially the system suggested in this article. The scrolling LED signs at bus stops used information from that system to predict wait times, now they use the GPS system for the same purpose.

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