Calls for electronic bus stops to keep passengers up to speed

© DC Thomson
Councillor Willie Robertson has asked council finance officers to budget for electronic bus stop signs, keeping passengers up-to-date with bus journeys.

Council finance officers are being asked to price up costs for an electronic overhaul of key bus stops in Perth and Kinross.

The local authority is considering following the lead of major Scottish cities, by introducing bus tracker screens displaying up-to-the-minute information about schedule services.

It coincides with a new study of smart technology bus stops across the wider Tayside region.

The move towards Real Time Information (RTI) boards in Perth and Kinross has been proposed by local Liberal Democrat councillors and could be put forward during next year’s budget.

Kinross-shire councillor Willie Robertson said: “The lack of real time information at major bus stops makes life hard for the travelling public.

“Standing in the cold at the Kinross Park and Ride for example you could be waiting for a bus which is coming all the way from Inverness.

“You are never sure when it will arrive or even if it will arrive. The technology now exists to provide real time information as to where the bus is. This allows the travelling public to make informed choices.”

Depute provost Willie Wilson is backing the campaign. “I would like to see RTI boards at Broxden Park and Ride and at major bus interchanges such as South Street and Murray Street in Perth,” he said.

“These information boards are in use in most of the UK and Europe so why not in Perth and Kinross?”

He added: “It should be a thing of the past that passengers have to stand and wait for a bus without knowing when it might arrive.”

The council’s Public Transport Unit has been asked to provide costs for the installation of boards at park and ride sites, as well as other locations in Perth.

Similar boards have been introduced across Dundee.

It comes as the Dundee-based Tayside Procurement Consortium is  launching a wider study of the benefits of providing real time passenger information at bus services across the Perth and Kinross, Angus and Dundee area.

Companies are being invited to bid for the group’s contract – valued at nearly £2 million – to carry out research to help finalise the new strategy, which could involve upgrading existing information boards.

The consortium’s brief states: “Tayside Procurement Consortium are in the process of scoping their requirements for a contract for the provision of real-time passenger information across the Tayside area.

“Existing arrangements/systems have been in place for a number of years now and are no longer cost effective in the current form.”

An agreement for the new study is likely to be signed before the end of the year.