- Associated Press - Saturday, January 25, 2014

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Waiting for your bus, seconds can seem like minutes and minutes can seem like hours.

But with a few clicks on a smartphone or computer, The Star-Ledger of Newark (http://bit.ly/1iy1JHZ) reports that New Jersey Transit riders to and from New York City can now remove the uncertainty and find out in real time when the next bus will arrive.

The hard-to-predict routes to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan are the final frontier for the MyBus Now program, which was rolled out to South Jersey towns 13 months ago and expanded to North Jersey towns - with the exception of the Port Authority terminal routes - in June.

The arrival estimates are listed if they are within the next 30 minutes.

Beyond a half-hour window is too difficult to predict, with all of the variables that come with traffic in America’s most congested state, officials said.

In the same vein, the estimates don’t apply to buses leaving the Port Authority Bus Terminal between 4 and 7 p.m. weekdays.

To find out when the next bus will arrive, commuters can visit www.njtransit.com on their smartphones and access MyBus Now under “Rider Tools.”

The desktop version also includes maps and a moving blue rectangle that signifies a bus and red dots that signify stops along the route.

Commuters without access to a smartphone can text MyBus (69287) with the stop and route number.

“It’s an exciting time when the technology can enhance the customer’s travels,” NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder said.

The technology is similar to a schedule board at a rail terminal that lets passengers know when the next train is heading into the station.

Trains get much of the attention, but NJ Transit bus riders number more than a half-million and outnumber rail passengers by a 2-to-1 margin. NJ Transit has about 19,000 bus stops on more than 200 routes.

Developed by Clever Devices of Plainview, N.Y., the feature makes use of GPS and some of NJ Transit’s own technology on the bus.

A small computer “logic unit” was installed on NJ Transit’s older buses, connecting them to main system at the statewide transportation agency.

The newer buses already had the technology.

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