When's the next bus? That's about to get a whole lot easier to figure out.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined CTA president Forrest Claypool Friday to unveil the first of 400 LED signs being built into bus shelters around Chicago.
The electronic signs, paid for with a $1.8 million Regional Transportation Authority grant and a $640,000 Federal Transit Authority grant, utilize Bus Tracker technology already in use for smartphones.
Displays will provide arrival times for the next four buses to help riders plan their trips and reduce wait times, Emanuel said.
"We finally have the technology to do what is right to serve the commuter, not to serve the system," Emanuel said.
Installation of the first 150 signs began Friday and is expected to be completed by March 2012. The remaining 250 signs will be installed by September 2012.
Claypool said the sign locations were picked based on ridership, stops with multiple bus routes, bus-to-bus transfers and Metra/Pace transfers.
Earlier this month, Emanuel and Claypool announced a station renewal program to give 100 CTA train stations facelifts over the next 12 months.
"It's understanding that we're here to serve the commuters and users of the system, and making sure both from technology, from cleanliness, to the safety, all the resources are applied to where it most matters, where the commuter meets the system," Emanuel said.