Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

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Sacrelicio
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby Sacrelicio » January 22nd, 2016, 5:40 pm

So am I crazy, or should a bus that is 4 minutes early wait? Had to chase one downtown that I thought I'd easily make.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby FISHMANPET » January 22nd, 2016, 5:41 pm

It needs to wait at a timepoint, and should probably wait otherwise because the routemaster will tell the driver its early.

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Tiller
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby Tiller » January 22nd, 2016, 6:46 pm

Efforts to build bus ridership will continue in 2016. Initiatives include new the opening of the region’s first arterial Bus Rapid Transit Line, the A Line, new bus stop signs with more information, more waiting shelters and a new mobile app.
I've seen these along white bear avenue, and they're nice. Especially compared to the "this is a bus stop" signs that preceded them.

And there's a mobile app? I normally just use trip planner in chrome.

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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby grant1simons2 » January 24th, 2016, 6:44 pm


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Sacrelicio
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby Sacrelicio » January 24th, 2016, 7:28 pm

I just happened to drive most of the A Line route today while running some errands in St. Paul and Roseville. Saw all those bus shelters and was curious as to what they were. Sounds like an awesome service.

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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby Silophant » January 24th, 2016, 7:52 pm

Have they revealed the opening date for the A Line yet? Or even the opening month?

intercomnut
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby intercomnut » January 24th, 2016, 9:30 pm

Silophant wrote:Have they revealed the opening date for the A Line yet? Or even the opening month?
Don't think so. At least I haven't gotten any emails from them with an announcement.

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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby seanrichardryan » January 24th, 2016, 10:40 pm

Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

Silophant
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby Silophant » January 24th, 2016, 10:59 pm

The Drive wrote: Metro Transit is developing an app to enhance trip planning capabilities and getting real-time departure information for those on mobile devices.
Since Metro Transit already has a mobile website that works well, what does an app gain them besides doubling or tripling their mobile technology maintenance workload? If it was going to allow NFC payments, that would be one thing, but as I understand it, the Go-To readers use a nonstandard NFC implementation that won't allow for that.

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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby MSPtoMKE » January 24th, 2016, 11:03 pm

Silophant wrote:Have they revealed the opening date for the A Line yet? Or even the opening month?
I would say the June service change is a good bet. In the Work Plan posted above, there are 2 items listed in May:
"A Line Marketing Campaign and Launch Events Bruce Howard"

"(Date TBD – prior to A Line launch) A Line Quarterly
Update: Pre-Launch Briefing (possibly to full Council?)"
My flickr photos.

talindsay
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby talindsay » January 25th, 2016, 12:15 pm

Silophant wrote:
The Drive wrote: Metro Transit is developing an app to enhance trip planning capabilities and getting real-time departure information for those on mobile devices.
Since Metro Transit already has a mobile website that works well, what does an app gain them besides doubling or tripling their mobile technology maintenance workload? If it was going to allow NFC payments, that would be one thing, but as I understand it, the Go-To readers use a nonstandard NFC implementation that won't allow for that.
It gains them the same thing that 90% of app providers gain from their app over a web site: the ability to say, "we have an app". I'm always surprised how eager people are to install an app, which takes up storage, memory, and CPU on your phone and can potentially expose all sorts of private information about you, for tasks that can be done within a browser. Thank Apple, whose "there's an app for that" ad series convinced people that having an app is somehow better. I'm sure Metro Transit is doing what some highly-paid consultants suggested, and to be fair, what much of their clientele demanded.

Sorry, that was ranty. It's a peeve of mine because the proliferation of apps has forced our phones to do ever more work to accomplish the same tasks they did seven years ago.

Probably a more useful answer is, it's meeting customers' demand for an app that provides the information already available on their mobile web page. it also peripherally makes it modestly easier to access people's exact location and potentially get better usage data over time to link rides (or interest in rides, which should correlate fairly tightly with actual rides since people don't tend to check on trip arrivals for buses they aren't taking). If they're collecting that data and properly taking advantage of it, it could be a bit richer than what they're getting from the browser interface.

acs
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby acs » January 25th, 2016, 12:19 pm

When are we getting an app for this forum?

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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby David Greene » January 25th, 2016, 12:19 pm

talindsay wrote:[Sorry, that was ranty. It's a peeve of mine because the proliferation of apps has forced our phones to do ever more work to accomplish the same tasks they did seven years ago.
It depends. HTML/CSS is not a particularly efficient way to transmit information. With an app they could potentially reduce their server bandwidth requirements quite a bit.

Plus there's more interface flexibility with an app.

I much prefer one of the third-party apps over Metro Transit's mobile web interface because the apps present the information in more useful ways. I'm sure the same could be done via the web but for whatever reason, it hasn't been.

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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby David Greene » January 25th, 2016, 12:22 pm

acs wrote:When are we getting an app for this forum?
It's called Tapatalk.

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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby MNdible » January 25th, 2016, 1:11 pm

I feel like Google Map's transit interface has gotten better and better, to the point that using any other app or mobile website simply doesn't make any sense.

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jw138
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby jw138 » January 25th, 2016, 2:17 pm

MNdible wrote:I feel like Google Map's transit interface has gotten better and better, to the point that using any other app or mobile website simply doesn't make any sense.
I use Google Map's transit interface most of the time as well. I also enjoy this app too though:

http://transitapp.com

It has a few features Google Maps doesn't:
  • Reminders/Notifications
    Per-route departure times for entire day
    Access to all route maps in the system
    A little bus icon on map indicating where the bus is
I had thought for the longest time that the bus icon was based on buses transmitting their GPS coordinates, but lately it's been nowhere close to accurate so I'm thinking maybe the bus icon is based on the published time schedule. Or, perhaps the published scheduled is used when GPS isn't available on the bus for whatever reason and I've been getting buses with issues. In any case, it's still a nice feature.

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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby David Greene » January 25th, 2016, 2:19 pm

jw138 wrote:
MNdible wrote:I feel like Google Map's transit interface has gotten better and better, to the point that using any other app or mobile website simply doesn't make any sense.
I use Google Map's transit interface most of the time as well. I also enjoy this app as well though:

http://transitapp.com

It has a few features Goodle Maps doesn't:
  • Reminders/Notifications
    Per-route departure times for entire day
    Access to all route maps in the system
    A little bus icon on map indicating where the bus is
I had thought for the longest time that the bus icon was based on buses transmitting their GPS coordinates, but lately it's been nowhere close to accurate so I'm thinking maybe the bus icon is based on the published time schedule. Or, perhaps the published scheduled is used when GPS isn't available on the bus for whatever reason and I've been getting buses with issues. In any case, it's still a nice feature.
I use this one as well, for the same reasons.

The real-time icon looks sort of like a wifi connect icon. TBH, that hasn't been particularly accurate either (always at least a few minutes off either way, probably due to MT's update window) but it's better than nothing.

EDIT: I misunderstood which icon you were talking about. I have no idea what the map bus icon is based on. I don't use it that much.

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jw138
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby jw138 » January 25th, 2016, 2:35 pm

David Greene wrote:
jw138 wrote:...
I had thought for the longest time that the bus icon was based on buses transmitting their GPS coordinates, but lately it's been nowhere close to accurate so I'm thinking maybe the bus icon is based on the published time schedule. Or, perhaps the published scheduled is used when GPS isn't available on the bus for whatever reason and I've been getting buses with issues. In any case, it's still a nice feature.
...
...
I have no idea what the map bus icon is based on. I don't use it that much.
...
This to me would be the best feature of any transit application. The closer to downtown you hop onto an inbound bus, the less accurate the published time schedule becomes. Accurate real-time bus GPS data would allow minimum time standing out in the cold.

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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby EOst » January 25th, 2016, 4:34 pm

I asked Transit's developers about the real-time bus icons once. Long story short, Metro Transit real-time departure doesn't update frequently and will often show buses that are "going to become" buses of a particular route as part of that route now.

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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby David Greene » January 25th, 2016, 4:47 pm

jw138 wrote:
David Greene wrote:
jw138 wrote:...
I had thought for the longest time that the bus icon was based on buses transmitting their GPS coordinates, but lately it's been nowhere close to accurate so I'm thinking maybe the bus icon is based on the published time schedule. Or, perhaps the published scheduled is used when GPS isn't available on the bus for whatever reason and I've been getting buses with issues. In any case, it's still a nice feature.
...
...
I have no idea what the map bus icon is based on. I don't use it that much.
...
This to me would be the best feature of any transit application. The closer to downtown you hop onto an inbound bus, the less accurate the published time schedule becomes. Accurate real-time bus GPS data would allow minimum time standing out in the cold.
The real-time information is also listed on the "list of routes at this station" page. I just don't use the actual map much.


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