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What kind of online info does your transit system have?

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What kind of online info does your transit system have?

Old 08-30-16, 06:15 AM
  #1  
Walter S
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What kind of online info does your transit system have?

Does your mass transit have an app? What kind of info does it show you? Our MARTA transit has an app that shows lots of info on buses and trains. Here's a Real Time Map that shows my current location relative to bus #21.

image.jpg

I can also see bus schedules. For trains I can see how long till the next boarding at any given station.

The system is also tied into the Google Maps app. So if I plot a route Google tells me which bus to take and how to get to the bus stop, transfers to another bus or train, what time to leave, etc. I can plan to leave right now or at a later time. I can schedule the arrival instead of the departure, etc.

How about your system?

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Old 08-30-16, 07:21 AM
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Google gives me route choices and includes walking time to each stop etc.

image.jpg
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Old 08-30-16, 07:39 AM
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The Tas Metro site:
Bus transport - Hobart, Launceston, Burnie - Metro Tasmania Metro Tasmania

There is a mobile version which I use once in a while.

I can plan a trip, or look up which buses go where, or top up my Greencard ...


I'm also "friends" with TasMetro on Facebook, so I get service updates that way.



And I can use Google maps to check bus and walking trips too.
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Old 08-30-16, 09:28 AM
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TriMet - Trip Planner, TransitTracker, Service Alerts (and, yes, there is also an app, several in fact if you include 3rd party releases).
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Old 08-30-16, 01:37 PM
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Our transit system has a website with full info on all bus and LRT lines. It also has a live bus prediction service, combining scheduling and bus GPS data, that displays upcoming arrivals in some bus shelters.

Somehow they also make the live data available to app makers who have created cellphone apps. I have a Blackberry that can run Android apps but I haven't activated that feature so I currently use the one Blackberry App for my city, which allows you to scroll through a list of all routes, select a route and scroll through a list of all stops, then select your stop and it will display the next 2 or three arrivals. I have set up favourites for quick use. There are probably a number of different android and iphone apps

Google also accesses the data from the system so you can plan a trip in google maps.

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Old 08-30-16, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
Does your mass transit have an app? What kind of info does it show you? Our MARTA transit has an app that shows lots of info on buses and trains. Here's a Real Time Map that shows my current location relative to bus #21.

Attachment 535835

I can also see bus schedules. For trains I can see how long till the next boarding at any given station.

The system is also tied into the Google Maps app. So if I plot a route Google tells me which bus to take and how to get to the bus stop, transfers to another bus or train, what time to leave, etc. I can plan to leave right now or at a later time. I can schedule the arrival instead of the departure, etc.

How about your system?
NJ Transit uses technology from a company called Clever Devices. Almost every bus has a GPS where it can predict when the bus will arrive at a certain street. It's pretty good when it works about 95% of the time during the week days. However, it's about 70% accurate during the weekends which is why you still need PDF's of the bus schedule stored on your phone.

NJ Transit also has this same feature for it's commuter rail and lightrail systems. I've never used them but I'm glad they are there. NJ Transit also has a feature on the website that will create a trip to your destination using the fastest combination of bus, lightrail and commuter rail. It's fascinating how technology keeps getting better all the time.

I remember back in the 1970's, this information was very difficult to get as bus depots didn't have paper schedules and it was rare to find any on the bus. However, I consider these Apps and transit websites to be a real game changer. It's a huge advantage and a main reason I returned back to using the bus.

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Old 08-31-16, 12:36 AM
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We can text for the arrival time of the next bus, but that's somewhat cumbersome. I'm waiting for the ability to scan the bus stop sign with the cell phone camera in order to instantly obtain arrival times. If you can catch Pokemons with a phone, why can't you catch bus arrival times?
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Old 09-09-16, 06:07 AM
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S-Bahn App for the Munich Area lets me buy tickets, shows departure and arrival times, tells if there are any outages and how to get around them, shows me the right connections between Bus, Tram, S-Bahn and Subway. It's fairly extensive.
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Old 09-09-16, 07:42 AM
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One day I'm hoping we'll be able to pay with our phones ... but that's probably a few years away yet.


I'd also like to be able to go to the app and have it tell me exactly where the busses are on the route. I can look up the schedules and all that sort of thing already, but I'd like to have a real-time tracker in my hand so that I can tell exactly where each the bus is from the comfort of my own home or work. That way, rather than dashing out in the rain to wait at a bus stop for 35 minutes because the bus is late, I could wait at home and go out when the bus is getting close.

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Old 09-09-16, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
One day I'm hoping we'll be able to pay with our phones ... but that's probably a few years away yet.


I'd also like to be able to go to the app and have it tell me exactly where the busses are on the route. I can look up the schedules and all that sort of thing already, but I'd like to have a real-time tracker in my hand so that I can tell exactly where each the bus is from the comfort of my own home or work. That way, rather than dashing out in the rain to wait at a bus stop for 35 minutes because the bus is late, I could wait at home and go out when the bus is getting close.
Our MARTA app has real time trackng. It's especially nice in the mornng so I head for the bus stop in time but don't wait long. It's also good when you have multiple routes and want to know which is best NOW.

Last edited by Walter S; 09-09-16 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 09-09-16, 09:07 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
Our MARTA app has real time trackng. It's especially nice in the mornng so I head for the bus stop in time but don't wait long. It's also good when you have multiple routes and want to know which is best NOW.

After reading this thread, I looked up the apps for the Minneapolis bus system. Turns out there a quite a few - but are not really useful to me at this point. I usually take light rail, which comes at 10-15 minute intervals like clockwork. Or, I take my suburban commuter bus, which does NOT have gps real time info. It is really quite frustrating. During rush hour, the commuter buses are supposed to arrive approximately every 6-8 minutes - so you shouldn't need a schedule. In reality, I've waited for as long a 25 minutes. But with no real time info, you are just stuck hoping. Did the bus break down? Is it stuck in traffic? Was there an accident?

It is why I'm a big fan of light rail. It does NOT get stuck in traffic.
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Old 09-09-16, 09:09 PM
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Also, it is interesting to me that so many buses do NOT have real time info. There is really no excuse at this point - anybody can track anybody with a simple phone app, but the bus company can't do it?

I'm guessing it is sheer management incompetence.

Edit: Many (all?) of the METRO buses have real time info. It is the suburban bus company buses that do not have it. Didn't want to give the impression that I was ripping on the Minneapolis bus system as a whole.

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Old 09-09-16, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
One day I'm hoping we'll be able to pay with our phones ... but that's probably a few years away yet.


I'd also like to be able to go to the app and have it tell me exactly where the busses are on the route. I can look up the schedules and all that sort of thing already, but I'd like to have a real-time tracker in my hand so that I can tell exactly where each the bus is from the comfort of my own home or work. That way, rather than dashing out in the rain to wait at a bus stop for 35 minutes because the bus is late, I could wait at home and go out when the bus is getting close.
Like this:



Quite handy. I'm fortunate to have a bus stop a few hundred meters from our house and if I take the bus in the morning I can time it to leave my house about a minute before the bus arrives.
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Old 09-09-16, 09:45 PM
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Back when I started taking the bus, I had a form of "real time" location notification. My apartment was on a dead end road. So, in the morning, I'd sit in my kitchen drinking coffee. When I looked out my window and saw the bus drive by, I knew it was time to get to the bus stop.

By the time I'd left my apt and walked the 100 ft to the bus stop, the bus would have reached the end of the street, turned around, and be headed for my bus stop.

There is something to be said for low tech
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Old 09-10-16, 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
Like this:



Quite handy. I'm fortunate to have a bus stop a few hundred meters from our house and if I take the bus in the morning I can time it to leave my house about a minute before the bus arrives.
That's great - but you made this post in response to Machka's comment about real-time. Your app is plotting a route based on scheduled time.
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Old 09-10-16, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by loky1179 View Post
Back when I started taking the bus, I had a form of "real time" location notification. My apartment was on a dead end road. So, in the morning, I'd sit in my kitchen drinking coffee. When I looked out my window and saw the bus drive by, I knew it was time to get to the bus stop.

By the time I'd left my apt and walked the 100 ft to the bus stop, the bus would have reached the end of the street, turned around, and be headed for my bus stop.

There is something to be said for low tech
The most reliable form of real-time information!
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Old 09-10-16, 03:57 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by loky1179 View Post
Also, it is interesting to me that so many buses do NOT have real time info. There is really no excuse at this point - anybody can track anybody with a simple phone app, but the bus company can't do it?

I'm guessing it is sheer management incompetence.

Edit: Many (all?) of the METRO buses have real time info. It is the suburban bus company buses that do not have it. Didn't want to give the impression that I was ripping on the Minneapolis bus system as a whole.
It may be "easy" to do but it still takes a significant investment in software and computing infrastructure. Without other public-facing web sites and such to integrate with it would probably cost at least a few hundred thousand dollars to setup a system for real time tracking. You need to construct digitized base maps of all the bus routes, enter them all into a database, implement connectivity with the buses themselves (including whatever web services/clients may be required for that), implement possibly multiple handheld user interfaces for ios, android, etc. Interface with app stores and provide customer support for problems, maintenance of updates based on new platform issues, etc.
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Old 09-10-16, 05:45 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by loky1179 View Post
It is why I'm a big fan of light rail. It does NOT get stuck in traffic.
Unless the so-called "light rail" label is being used to include street cars/trolleys/trams that run in the street and do not have their own right way, such as the proposed $16 billion Brooklyn-Queens Connector "light rail" route.
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Old 09-10-16, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
That's great - but you made this post in response to Machka's comment about real-time. Your app is plotting a route based on scheduled time.
Well I couldn't show it but when they get close the Icons change and they provide real-time updates. The buses all have GPS.

More like this:


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Old 09-10-16, 07:14 AM
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I use Maps.Me on my phone for directions when I am in an unfamiliar city. My first time using it was in Sydney back in May.

I can map a route and the little blue dot tells me where I am.

I figure if I can do that, why can't busses be equipped with something that would mark their location.
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Old 09-10-16, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
We can text for the arrival time of the next bus, but that's somewhat cumbersome. I'm waiting for the ability to scan the bus stop sign with the cell phone camera in order to instantly obtain arrival times. If you can catch Pokemons with a phone, why can't you catch bus arrival times?
That's a good idea!

You know what I want? I want to be able to turn on the App and see all the buses within 1, 5 and 10 miles around you. The Google map on your phone will show where you're at and how far the bus is in relation to your stop. You can also tap on any bus and see it's entire route and cost.

Today's bus Apps require you to know pretty much what street you're on or located near to determine when the bus will arrive. I want the App to do that instead of me!! There have been a number times I don't know where I'm at and the Apps want you to list a cross street to determine when the bus will arrive.
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Old 09-17-16, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
That's a good idea!

You know what I want? I want to be able to turn on the App and see all the buses within 1, 5 and 10 miles around you. The Google map on your phone will show where you're at and how far the bus is in relation to your stop. You can also tap on any bus and see it's entire route and cost.

Today's bus Apps require you to know pretty much what street you're on or located near to determine when the bus will arrive. I want the App to do that instead of me!! There have been a number times I don't know where I'm at and the Apps want you to list a cross street to determine when the bus will arrive.
The Atlanta app is close to what you want. It shows bus stops that are close to me (not buses, which you can't board except at a stop). Then when I tap a stop it tells me which buses stop there and I can access a real time map showing where those buses are right now.
image.jpg
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Old 10-19-16, 01:41 AM
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Well apparently our local transit service has just issued an app! They say they've got real time updates. I'll download it and see how it goes.
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Old 10-19-16, 04:04 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
Does your mass transit have an app? What kind of info does it show you?

I can also see bus schedules. For trains I can see how long till the next boarding at any given station.

How about your system?
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
One day I'm hoping we'll be able to pay with our phones ... but that's probably a few years away yet.

I'd also like to be able to go to the app and have it tell me exactly where the busses are on the route. I can look up the schedules and all that sort of thing already, but I'd like to have a real-time tracker in my hand so that I can tell exactly where each the bus is from the comfort of my own home or work. That way, rather than dashing out in the rain to wait at a bus stop for 35 minutes because the bus is late, I could wait at home and go out when the bus is getting close.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), or colloquially, the (T) has an app that allows ticket purchases, and one activates a ticket on boarding and shows it to the conductor. I signed on one ride when I had no cash or printed ticket, but did have my I-phone and wallet. The app also has an easily used schedule for commuter rail, buses, and ferry boats for the extensive system that serves Metro Boston, and generalized system alerts.

As far as advance warnings of arrivals, the best they can do is post delay times. My workplace is about three minutes from the commuter rail station, and even if a 30 minute delay was posted, I would still wait outside, because he train could likely arrive in 20 minutes. I too have to wonder why a real time GPS display cannot be implemented.

Complaints about the (T) are often a subject for public rants for example on talk shows, but I am a grateful benefactor since I am a reverse commuter and can bring my bike on commuter rail and subway with some restrictions. The (T) has a webpage, “Bikes on the (T).”

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 10-19-16 at 05:03 AM.
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