For decades, bus riders waiting for the B67 bus had little idea how far away the next bus would be arriving beyond the MTA’s scheduled timesheet.
Faced with the difficult choice of making a dash across the street for a coffee and a delicious pastry, or continuing to stand on a lonely corner waiting in vain for a bus that is late or delayed in traffic, commuters were paralyzed with inactivity.
The Park Slope-based company Roadify has developed a new real-time system to help frustrated commuters wondering when the next bus will come. They are calling their latest project Buses Around Me (or BAM, not affiliated with the Brooklyn Academy of Music), which will launch on January 23 or 24 in Park Slope.
To find out when the next bus is coming and how far away it is, bus riders along the B67 line (Kensington, Park Slope, Downtown Brooklyn, and DUMBO) can text “BAM” to “95495” or tweet a direct message to @roadify to get on their initial list to receive further instructions, which include texting your address while waiting for the bus and then “GET” to find out the status of the latest B67 bus.
“It’s partially a social experiment,” said Daniel Robinson, a Roadify member, in an interview with Brooklyn Based. “Are people willing to give as much as to get? The people of Brooklyn breed an activist and progressive spirit.”
Roadify is looking to expand the service, which relies on community involvement, on other bus lines that may intersect with the B67, though they are open to adding nearby lines in the future.
While the service won’t unclog a traffic jam or make buses run as scheduled, it will no doubt bring some comfort to commuters to have the B67 bus return their texts with a reasonable excuse for its lateness.