The first countdown clocks were introduced in in 2018 in Park Slope, the district of Councilman Brad Lander, who pushed the city to update the kiosks, which give access to FREE Wi-Fi and phone calls.
The bus information is for arrival times for stop within a few blocks, or roughly three-tenths of a mile.
The LinkNYC kiosks also display subway service status information, so this is an additional benefit, and can help you decide whether it’s faster to walk or take an alternative subway or bus route.
And it’s a great leap forward for a bus service that has been steadily losing ridership in recent years, in many cases to shared-ride services such as Lyft Line and Via.
The bus countdown clock roll-out comes at a crucial time for subway and bus riders in NYC, who will need to rely more on alternative modes of public – and private – transportation during the long-planned repair along the L train line to the tracks and tunnel under the East River from Hurricane Sandy.
Plus, of course, all the weekend shutdowns of some lines for track and signal repair.
The L train shutdown will affect some 275,000 riders a day, not to mention all the businesses, many of them small, family-owned businesses, along the shutdown route.
Here’s a comprehensive article on what to expect, in the New York Times.
“Adding bus arrival times to LinkNYC kiosks is a smart and creative way to help bus riders save time, and it will help make the bus a more modern, convenient option for New Yorkers to choose,” said John Raskin, executive director of Riders Alliance, in a statement.
So, no more excuses for being late.
Since LinkNYC launched in 2016, more than 1,700 Links have been installed across the five boroughs. More than 3.6 million gigabytes of data has been used — the equivalent of sending 36 billion emails, the city points out.
LinkNYC originally offered free web access, but the city pulled the plug on that feature after a few months, because of complaints that users were monopolizing kiosks to visit porn sites.