Muni officials wrote to the SFMTA blog to explain the problem: NextMuni, which is a customized name for the third-party vehicle tracking system NextBus, relies on infrastructure installed in 2002 that only has 2G wireless network capacity. That outdated technology is being replaced nationwide by AT&T, Muni’s provider. The issue, according to Muni, is thatThe deactivation work that affects our vehicles started sooner than expected and outpaced our ongoing upgrade of all Muni vehicles to a new communications and monitoring system.
Put another way,Caleb PershanMuni vehicles that aren’t yet upgraded aren’t transmitting data to NextMuni to predict their arrival.As SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose tells SFBay, as many as 40 percent of Muni’s fleet of vehicles, trains included, don’t have the new, 3G communications systems in place.
Such a ‘first world problem’! I was starting to feel bad because something like this is years – if not decades – from being installed in Bucharest, where I live, but it turns out only a couple of cities around the world have similar real-time systems for predicting bus arrival times, and most are installed on trains and subways.