Too many times have I given up on waiting for a bus at tech square only to have one arrive shortly after I’ve left the stop. Sure, there is an app that shows where buses are, but sometimes it fails to update or a bus won’t show up on the route. The area could definitely benefit from a vocal interface to announce the ETA of a nearby bus or warn you if it’s going to be a while.
There are three bus stops near the 5th and Spring intersection which makes it an ideal place for bus travel. However, if I’ve learned anything about getting around at Georgia Tech, it’s that buses are unreliable. Especially when they are trying to navigate through the traffic of Tech Square and the Marta stop. Currently people will gather in a medium sized crowd and just wait for up to five minutes for a bus to arrive at the stop. Then sometimes the bus will already be full of passengers, which means waiting for the next bus. This is very inefficient, and causes the sidewalk to get crowded near the stops.
A simple announcement of when the next bus will arrive would save everyone the hassle of waiting by the bus stop for an indefinite amount of time until an available bus pulls up. Instead they could go sit down in a nearby seating area to keep the sidewalks clear or engage in activity they know they will have time for. This would need to be a speech directed interface to be able to provide accurate information about bus ETAs, though a jingle could be used to announce a buses arrival. The voice needs to be clear and understandable with a fairly neutral tone. Many trains use announcers with these vocal characteristics to warn about the doors closing or to provide information on upcoming stops. A Siri-like voice would work well for the task. I believe this interface,while not absolutely crucial, would be helpful with minimizing the amount of time people waste standing and waiting for buses to arrive.
This is an example of what this interface could sound like (though the voice could use some work)