NextBus Accuracy Still Slipping - NBC4 Washington

NextBus Accuracy Still Slipping

Metro offers explanation for schedule inaccuracies



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    Seems Metro’s NextBus service isn’t living up to expectations.

    The system uses GPS-tracking technology, instead of hard-to-read schedules, to provide riders with real-time information on when the next bus will arrive at their bus stop. 
    The information would be useful if it was accurate.
    Right now, the service forecasts bus arrivals correctly only 78 percent of the time, The Washington Examiner reported. That’s far below Metro’s goal of 92 percent and even worse than the 80 percent accuracy rate that prompted Metro to end a pilot program in 2007. It was restarted in July 2009. 
    For now, there are no plans to cancel it again. In fact, Metro plans to fork over $223,000 for the next Nextbus contract, according to the Examiner.  
    However, Metro spokesman Reggie Woodruff told the Examiner, “78 percent is not acceptable.”
    Some of the problem is gridlock. The NextBus system apparently does not track buses when they’re not moving, like when they’re stuck in traffic. Buses also “disappear” from the system if they go off course --  i.e. detours -- something that happens a lot in the Washington area.