A screen shows information about upcoming stops on a bus

On-board bus displays

Now in testing!

We've started a pilot test of new digital information screens that will appear on CTA buses. These displays represent the latest effort by CTA to improve the rider experience by providing real-time service information to people on-board the bus.

The easy-to-read digital displays offer:

  • real-time travel information, including estimated arrival times for upcoming stops,
  • transfer information for other CTA services,
  • service alerts and
  • persistent indication when any passenger has requested the bus make the next stop.

This new technology supplements the existing visual and audio service information already available on all CTA buses—large text announcing the next stop and audio announcements to assist those with hearing or visual impairments will remain.

The buses with these screens are currently being tested on route #20 Madison.

We'll be testing the screens on this (and plan to test on other bus routes in the future) and are actively soliciting public feedback about this new technology from both new and frequent riders.

Throughout the test, we plan to make tweaks and improvements to the screens and may roll out additional buses with different variations as part of our test.

More about what's on the screens

The layout is designed to make room for a variety of information in an easily understandable way. Buses in our test have two screens,—one at the front of the bus and one just before the rear door—so you're never far from information that we hope helps you ride with greater confidence and comfort.

The design is divided into what are mainly three spaces:

Sample of screen showing a bus in service on the 56, approaching Grand/Milwaukee, available transfers, subsequent stops, a customer alert about a reroute further ahead and that the next stop has been requested.
Above: A mock-up of information you might see if riding a #56 Milwaukee bus with these screens on board.

The top bar iterates the route number and dedicates a space for large text that behaves exactly as the red LED signs these replace on our test buses.

The top bar also reserves a corner that flips to bright red with the words “Stop requested” whenever someone has signaled for the next stop—and stays lit until the bus’s doors are opened. (Additionally, the space reserved for large text also iterates "STOP REQUESTED" after the cord is pulled and repeats this periodically for greater visibility, just as the old LED screens did before.)

The largest space, on the left side of the screen, is dedicated to telling the story of the route you’re on: it tells you the next stops (with detailed information about services you can transfer to here), the following upcoming stops (with general transfer availability) and the bus’s destination.

The lower right side is space that we can use for a variety of things, most importantly Customer Alerts for your route. This includes details on both planned and unplanned reroutes—appearing moments after our Control Center posts them to our website—interspersed with public service messages from CTA.

This design, of course, may change over time based on feedback we get from riders, observations we make and as we potentially introduce additional, innovative features to make these an even more valuable feature on buses for riders like you!

Ridden a test bus? Take our survey!

Have you ridden one of our test buses? We'd love to hear what you thought about these new screens: 

Take this survey to tell us about your experience!