By Poyi (Natalie) Leung
People who hop on bus No.3, 11 or 25 will be the first ones to experience the GPS-based visual announcement system at any of the five busy bus stops in the Macau Peninsula including San Ma Lou and Rua do Campo starting 11am today.
The system, introduced by the Transport Bureau (DSAT), has been set up at the bus stops in San Ma Lou near Weng Hang Bank, Avenida Infante D. Henrique near Macau Square, Rua do Campo near Café Eskimo, Avenida de Horta e Costa (Kou Si Tak) near Chi Fu Commercial Centre and also Avenida do Almirante Lacerda near Cheong Meng Garden.
The trial will last for three months and allow people to see how many minutes and stops left until the bus arrives.
Bus No.3 runs between the Border Gate Bus Terminal and the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal, No.11 between the Barra Bus Terminal and the Jockey Club in Taipa, and No.25 between the Border Gate Bus Terminal and Hac Sa Beach via Taipa.
According to head of Traffic Equipment Division of DSAT, Jonithan Lai Kin Hou in the press conference yesterday, the accuracy rate of the information will be no less than 70 percent and the time error will not be more than five minutes.
The information is available in Chinese, Portuguese and English. The display screens will be automatically switched off after the departure of the last bus.
Head of the Transport Management Division Dick Lo Seng Chi said that the Global Positioning System (GPS) has been installed in altogether 52 buses for the first phase of the project.
He also said that the DSAT hopes to include six more bus routes in the system within this year and strives to have all the buses installed with the GPS by the end of the year.
It is expected that in 2012 the announcement system can be extended to all the bus routes and stops in Macau.
Jonithan Lai Kin Hou said this intelligent traffic system cost around MOP2 million, which was “much cheaper than usual” since some of the software programs were developed by the DSAT itself.
He explained that the announcement system operates mainly by transmitting the GPS data through a wireless network to the DSAT, where the data will then be analysed and processed before being transmitted back to the display screens at the bus stops.
The announcement system will also be launched simultaneously at 11am today at the DSAT website, http://www.dsat.gov.mo, so that people can also check the information online before heading out to catch the bus.
The bureau welcomes opinions from the public during the trial period in order to further optimise the system.