In 1997, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, implemented an advanced public transportation system for its fixed route and paratransit bus operations. The system integrated a number of applications. The system facilitated reservations and scheduling for paratransit vehicles, and automated vehicle location (AVL) was used to track the location of transit vehicles equipped with GPS and in-vehicle mobile data terminals (MDT).
The MDTs were installed to automatically monitor and track vehicle location, schedule adherence, passenger counts, and engine performance. Each bus tracked its location using differential global positioning satellite (DGPS) technology accurate to about one or two meters and then compared its location with bus route schedule information preloaded into the on-board MDT using an insertable memory card. If a bus was behind schedule, the vehicle automatically notified the operations center and asked connecting buses to hold for late transfers. Updated schedules were then made available to passengers via the Internet, telephone, or on kiosks at selected bus stops. In addition, the AVL system was able to change destination announcements on electronic message signs located on the inside and outside of each bus to reflect any changes in scheduled routes.
To improve safety, camera surveillance systems were installed on each bus, and onboard emergency systems enabled drivers to manually activate an alert to notify dispatchers of life-threatening situations. These systems enabled dispatchers to quickly contact authorities and communicate with passengers using an in-vehicle public address system. Overall, the integrated transit management system cost $2.64 million or about $35,200 per bus for a fleet of 75 buses.
Summary of capital costs incurred to 1999:
*Divided by the fleet number (75 buses)
Operating costs remained fairly constant between October 1995 and May 1999. On average operating expenditures were about $1.25 million per year (1995 dollars) and included wages, fringe benefits, services, materials and supplies, utilities, and insurance, purchased trans, rental, and other.
Evaluation of the Advanced Operating System of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority: Cost Study: Before, During and After AOS Implementation
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Capital costs: $2.64 million or approximately $32,500 per bus for a fleet of 75 buses. O&M Cost: Approximately $1.25 million per year (1995 dollars).