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PIDS@Stop: Your ticket to seamless bus journeys

Posted on | 24 Sep 2021

Image of bus stop with PIDS screen

There’s a new screen coming to a bus stop near you. Nope, it’s not another sleek advertising display, but a revamped info panel to make commuting a breeze. 

The Passenger Information Display System, or PIDS@Stop for short, is an upgrade of the original 2007 bus arrival panels. From 1 September 2021, new PIDS panels will be progressively installed at 310 bus stops! Keep your eyes peeled for these spanking new screens at five bus stops along Bedok Reservoir Road, Jalan Eunos, Paya Lebar Road, Serangoon Road and Sims Avenue.

What’s new? 

Nifty features of the new PIDS@Stop:

  • “Incoming Buses”, provides information on the next 5 buses that will arrive, which means passengers no longer need to read through multiple pages of arrival times to figure out if their bus will arrive next.
  • “Quickest Way To” panel, maps out the quickest route to your destination when multiple buses go to the same location, such as which bus service to take to popular destinations nearby, in the shortest time possible.
  • “Bus Arrivals by Service”, provides navigation-friendly information by flashing real time bus arrivals, and landmarks along the route such as MRT stations and hospitals.
  • “Message Board”, provides key information about travel advisories, changes to bus services, rail disruptions or planned maintenance work on the MRT network.

The tech tweaks are part of LTA’s ongoing efforts to improve urban mobility, by giving commuters more accessible and useful information to help optimise their journeys. 

You might be wondering: Why display the same updates that are currently available on mobile phone bus apps? 

Currently, LTA provides electronic bus arrival panels, based on LED technology, at selected bus stops. LTA’s Bus Information Systems team sought to better understand commuters needs and conducted a small-scale survey with 245 bus commuters at bus stops and found that nearly half of them referred to the panels for information about their current trip. 

In addition, of the 433 people polled at bus interchanges, 9 out of 10 referred to the displays for information.

Graphic of 10 commuters at a bus stop
So, what were some key considerations in developing the newly rolled out PIDS?
1. Hi-tech system at a glance

When the original electronic bus arrival panels neared the end of life, LTA began planning for a new system to replace them. 

PIDS@Stop, building on the panels’ popular features, uses 4G technology to display multimedia content like videos and bus arrival timings. All buses tap on this technology to transmit their location and the trip they are logged into, every 30 seconds. By combining this data with historical travel information, accurate estimates of bus arrivals can be displayed on PIDS@Stop. The information is shared across both mobile phone bus apps and PIDS@Stop. 

That’s not all. To ensure that the system is robust, it is monitored by a team of LTA engineers so that any faults can be swiftly identified and fixed.

2. Inclusive features for more usability

PIDS@Stop is not only low-maintenance, but its user-friendly features also cater to the needs of special groups such as the elderly and the visually impaired. These include:

  • Large fonts that can be read easily
  • Simple pictograms
  • Prominent display of vital information like bus arrival timings and useful messages pertaining to MRT incidents and Public Transport Security.
Did You Know?

The roll-out of PIDS@Stop hit several speed bumps initially, including pandemic-related restrictions that put the brakes on the project. The team was forced to conduct all their meetings online and had to roll back their on-site survey efforts to gather public feedback on the design.

Undaunted, the members shifted gears quickly and polled their LTA colleagues and friends instead. Some even went the extra mile by interviewing their elderly relatives for insights into the needs of this demographic slice. Commuters can look forward to the day when all existing LED panels will be replaced with these new panels for more efficient connectivity. 

Here’s to greater convenience for a pleasant and seamless bus journey!

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