Silver Line to lose real-time arrival info for a month

The MBTA says it's shutting down its GPS-based arrival system along Washington Street tomorrow to comply with a federal mandate to change the frequencies used by the system.

The T says it expects to have the system up and running by Sept. 24. The FCC is forcing the T to change frequencies to keep the system from possibly interfering with public-safety services. The T adds:

In addition, Global Positioning System (GPS) technology will be unavailable to dispatchers in the MBTA's Bus Operations Control Center. As a result, bus dispatchers will not have the capability of making real time schedule adjustments. As the MBTA’s mobile radios are reprogrammed, they will begin to migrate over to the new frequency set and begin to populate the data system. Completion is slated for September 24th, but communications personnel are determined to complete the transition before that date.

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Comments

hahaha almost as good as

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hahaha almost as good as Kaz's comment on the "mass holes on the greenline" post

Depends

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First, you have to create the installer with the corrected parameters. No idea how long that will take them to program and get ready for installation.

It also depends on how these radio boxes have their software installed (CD, wired port, wireless access...?). These aren't Windows desktop computers just sitting around waiting for you to pick up a keyboard and mouse to interact with them. Most stand-alone boxes like this also don't have the fastest access rate because you're not planning on frequently updating/installing them. Finally, it depends on how long the update itself takes to setup. Then, you have to test it before you can move on to the next one. If there are 30 buses and each one takes an hour to properly update and you can't do it during active hours, then 1 person would take 30 hours at night to do all the updates. I'm pretty sure there are more than 30 buses and it might even take more than an hour. 1 week to prep the software update and 3 weeks to do the installs at night?

All the buses, not just the Silver Line

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Read the news posting a little more carefully - they're doing this to the entire bus fleet. It's just that the Silver Line Washington St. is the only place the data is currently visible to the public. However, this will keep the dispatchers from having as much information about all the other buses while the transition is going on.