GPS to keep buses on time

Bus companies will be forced to make their services more punctual with Auckland Transport developing a system to automatically monitor performance using GPS tracking.

The system will end the current system of bus companies self monitoring and reporting near perfect punctuality rates - despite many commuters experiencing issues with late buses.

Most bus companies use bus driver logs to measure punctuality.

For the six bus companies that operate in Auckland, figures provided to Auckland Transport for August 2012 show 99.04 per cent commence the journey within five minutes of the timetabled start time.

Auckland Transport spokesman Mark Hannan said the organisation had recently started work on developing a service performance measurement system "to automatically monitor and measure bus service performance against the schedule using GPS tracking".  

He said the database was in the early stages of development and individual schedule and route data had yet to be verified. 

The system would bring all operators under the same performance regime and targets across the region and is expected to be compete within six to nine months.

Coupled with the introduction of performance-based contracts across almost all bus services from mid-2013 to mid-2015 Auckland Transport would be able to utilise this information for service performance management for the first time, he said.

Auckland Transport already undertakes "limited manual on-road monitoring of service punctuality and audits of operator systems".

Hannon said it was limited by staff numbers.

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