OC Transpo takes bus announcements outside 

people boarding an OC transpo bus at a street stop

Catching the bus is getting easier

On April 23, OC Transpo launched improvements to its next stop announcement system. Exterior bus announcements, which audibly announce the route and destination of the arriving bus, can now be heard by customers waiting at all bus stops and transit stations.

Some customers are unable to see or read the visual destination sign of an approaching bus – particularly, customers who are blind or who have vision loss. This affects their ability to identify the bus, and to use transit independently and safely. Exterior bus announcements will assist all customers in confirming they are boarding the correct vehicle, especially at stops and platforms served by multiple routes.

Generated from a speaker located outside the front door of the bus, this technology will automatically announce, in both official languages, the same information that can be seen on the exterior destination sign of the bus. When the operator opens the door, the bus will make the announcement – for example, “Route 95 Baseline, Circuit 95 Baseline.”

Announcement volumes have been set to be only a few decibels above the ambient or surrounding street-level noise at the stops. They are intended to be heard by those waiting at the stop. The volume of the exterior bus announcements will also vary depending on the time of day – getting quieter from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.

The implementation of OC Transpo’s new exterior bus announcements has been guided by feedback from an eight-member community working group, composed of residents and stakeholders with an interest in the provision of a more accessible transit service. This group helped to initiate the project, provided OC Transpo staff with an enhanced understanding of the unique challenges faced by some customers, and assisted in the development of the announcement content and sounds. The community working group included representatives of the City’s Accessibility Advisory Committee, Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), Alliance for the Equality of Blind Canadians, Canadian Council of the Blindand Women’s Initiatives for Safer Environments.

For more information on OC Transpo’s exterior bus announcements or on the other accessibility features that make it easier for customers to use transit, please visit www.octranspo.com   or contact OC Transpo Information at 613-741-4390 (TTY 613-741-5280).