Starting April 23, OC Transpo will begin rolling out exterior bus announcements at bus stops and stations. Once these announcements are in place, each bus will audibly announce its route and destination in English and French when it arrives at the station platform or bus stop. To make sure the announcements are accurate and consistent, they will be applied to the different routes gradually from April 23 until June 25, after which all routes will provide external announcements. Exterior announcements are the next phase in the expansion of the next stop announcement system (NSAS).
Exterior bus announcements will improve boarding for all customers, especially for customers who have vision loss or are blind. Many of these customers cannot see the destination sign of an approaching bus, reducing their ability to identify the correct bus, and to use transit independently and safely. The announcements will be sent out from speakers located beside the front door of each bus to help customers locate the vehicle entrance and confirm that they are boarding the correct bus or train, especially at stops and platforms served by multiple routes. The announcements will also be helpful for visitors, seniors, new Canadians, customers with intellectual and learning disabilities and those who are unable to read.
Exterior next stop announcements are currently being provided by a number of other transit services in Canada and the United States, and will be an important addition to OC Transpo’s growing list of accessible services.