Watching the wait: City debuts countdown clocks at Park Slope bus stops

Good time: Jaye Maynard was happily suprised to see a countdown clock installed at the Atlantic Avenue and Court Street bus stop, but she’ll be even happier when they turn it on.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

The time has arrived!

The city is installing countdown clocks that display estimated arrival times at 12 bus stops around Park Slope, providing straphangers with real-time information in order to better plan their commutes, according to the local pol who spearheaded the initiative.

“We are thrilled to welcome bus countdown clocks to Brooklyn,” said Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope). “Knowing when the next bus is coming is a real quality-of-life improvement for riders.”

Half of the clocks are already in place at some of the busiest stops in the nabe, including tickers for Downtown-bound and Kensington-bound buses at Seventh Avenue and Ninth Street, Downtown-bound buses at Columbia Street and Carroll Street, Bay Ridge-bound buses at Atlantic Avenue and Court Street, Kensington-bound buses at Fifth Avenue and Seventh Street, and Kensington-bound buses at Seventh Avenue and Flatbush Avenue.

And the city is in the process of installing clocks for Brooklyn Bridge Park- and Bay Ridge-bound buses at Fifth Avenue and Ninth Street, Downtown-bound buses at Seventh Avenue and Sixth Street, Bergen Beach- and Kings Plaza-bound buses at Flatbush Avenue and Grand Army Plaza, Bay Ridge-bound buses at Fifth Avenue and Dean Street, and Downtown-bound buses at Seventh Avenue and 11th Street.

Riders cheered the technology, despite the fact that some already in place clocks were not fully functional by midday Tuesday.

“I think it’s a great idea — at least when they’re up and running,” said Park Slope resident Jaye Maynard, who was waiting for a bus at Atlantic Avenue and Court Street.

Lander also set aside money to bring more than a dozen additional clocks to stops in Windsor Terrace and Kensington, which should arrive sometime next year, according to his spokeswoman.

The councilman committed funding to the project in 2014, before Mayor DeBlasio announced a plan to install 350 clocks city-wide in 2016. Each monitor costs taxpayers a whopping $35,000.

But the hundreds of incoming timers will serve only a fraction of the New York City’s 15,000 bus stops, according to the legislator, who said he is also pushing for arrival times to be displayed on 7,500 public wi-fi kiosks that LinkNYC is rolling out across the city at no cost to taxpayers.

“It’s great to install 350 bus clocks across the city, but there are more than 15,000 stops,” Lander said. “Meanwhile, LinkNYC is expanding at a rapid pace. Let’s use them to make life a little easier for NYC’s bus riders.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.

More from Around New York