Transit management system in Chicago reduces larger-than-scheduled bus gaps by nearly 40 percent.

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) transit system allows buses to more quickly adapt to changing traffic and street conditions.

Date Posted

New CTA Technology Aims to Reduce Bus Delays

Summary Information

In 2015, Chicago Transit Authority implemented the Bus Transit Management System (BTMS) that monitors bus movements in real-time to address "bus bunching" and long waits between buses. Through touch-screen terminals on every CTA bus, BTMS allows for improved two-way communication between drivers and CTA’s Control and Power Center (C/PC), the command center that monitors all bus and train operations throughout the service region.

The system enables the Control Center to better track the location and movement of buses, and quickly convey route or speed changes to operators in order to ensure proper spreading of buses and adherence to schedule when possible. If Control Center personnel detect conditions that could lead to a service delay or bus bunching — more than one bus arriving at a stop at or near the same time — they can instruct the driver to adjust the route accordingly. Further, if the Control Center needs to send a message to multiple buses about a reroute due to police or fire activity, it can be done instantaneously.


Testing on buses at two South Side CTA garages that initially received the new system has shown significant improvement to bus service.

  • Since January 2015, bus "big gaps"— defined as larger-than-scheduled periods of time between buses — on nine of the busiest South Side bus routes have dropped an average of nearly 40 percent.