SEPTA is partnering with a leading AI technology company for a camera-assisted bus lane and stop technology pilot on Bus Routes 21 and 42. The camera system is mounted inside buses and will automatically detect illegally parked vehicles on the Chestnut Street and Walnut Street bus lanes and at bus stops. While no tickets will be issued during the pilot program, the demonstration will help to show the scope of the illegal parking problem impacting transit.
Bus speeds in Philadelphia average at 8mph, slower than national averages of 13-14mph, costing riders time and contributing to operating expenses. Every year, congestion in Center City causes 1.7 million hours of passenger delay and adds $15.4 million to SEPTA’s operating costs. Vehicles illegally parked at bus and trolley stops prevent accessible boarding and cause further delay by increasing boarding and alighting time.
The 60-day pilot is being done in partnership with Hayden AI, a leader in artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. There is no cost to SEPTA for the pilot program.
Addressing illegal parking in bus lanes and at transit stops is expected to improve transit reliability, trip times, and safety and promote safe and accessible boarding. Since launching on April 20th, the seven SEPTA buses equipped with the pilot system have recorded on average over 4,000 incidences of parking in bus lanes or bus stops per week.
“SEPTA is excited to explore how new technologies can help improve safety on the system, as well as the overall customer experience,” said SEPTA General Manager and CEO Leslie S. Richards. “This pilot program will help us better identify areas where we are seeing bus lane violations and look at possible solutions, particularly as we move forward with Bus Revolution.”
Hayden AI has deployed nearly 500 AI-powered, bus-mounted camera systems in New York City for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), where the technology, coupled with ticketing enforcement, has significantly increased compliance with bus lane stopping and parking restrictions.
“Bus service should be rapid, accessible, and safe to board, but illegal parking in dedicated transit zones makes this impossible,” said Chris Carson, CEO and co-founder of Hayden AI. “We’ve seen our technology help keep bus lanes clear for buses in New York and are excited to assist SEPTA with this technology pilot in Philadelphia.”