+44 (0) 1326 336 444
FalTech Ltd is a member of the Federation of Small Businesses

GPS repeaters for Bus Stations

Signal coverage in both underground and ground level bus stations

Modern passenger busses carry GPS satellite navigation systems to determine their exact location at all times. When inside underground bus stations / terminals, busses can’t receive a live GPS signal. As a result, Real Time Information (RTI) systems are not updated and passengers receive inaccurate timetable information.

The on-board system transmits its location data to a central computer. In turn, the computer communicates the information to passengers via an array of interfaces.

Real time information display at a bus stop

The RTI is displayed in several ways, including:

  • Visual displays at bus stops show arrival times, service updates and delays.
  • Bus company websites provide similar information for website users.
  • Most bus companies and some independent service providers present the information via iOS and Android apps.

When a bus enters an underground station its GPS receiver loses sight of the satellites orbiting overhead.

It continues to transmit location data to the central computer via its mobile communications system. However, this is no longer real-time.

Screenshot of bus timetable app showing arrival times of the next 6 bussesThe location information now comprises the coordinates of the place where it last had sky-view, just before it entered the underground bus station.

In effect, the system transmits stale information when the bus leaves the terminal until it receives live GPS signals again.

There are two additional issues that may affect the time it takes for a bus to be fully online and sending real time information again.

If it has been underground for say an hour, the satellites that the bus was receiving signal from have moved on to another section of their orbit. The GPS receiver would have to download location information of the satellites that are now visible which can take up to 15 minutes, especially in urban canyons. The bus is out of sync with the satellite.

 

A GPS repeater system installed in an underground bus station ensures that:

  • Satellite navigation equipment in busses is ‘locked-on’ to the GPS signal at all times when underground.
  • When busses are underground they continue to receive live GPS signals and will send real-time information to central computer systems.
  • When busses leave the station, there is zero satellite acquisition delay, hence no gap in service.

What does this mean to customers? They have a better experience of the bus company as travellers always say that they want to be kept up to date on arrival times etc. Increasingly, bus information is being fed into apps which revolve around timely information. A modest investment in this area delivers improved service quality based on reliability, punctuality, real-time availability of timetable information including incidents affecting the service, and shorter waiting times at bus stops.

Further Information

A GPS repeater kit comes with all you need to get indoor GPS signal in a fire station.

For larger areas where one single repeater is not enough we can offer you a custom-designed-system to meet your exact requirement.

Contact us to discuss your requirements