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Metro Posting Bus Alerts

At the top of Metro's home page, you will now find alerts about disruptions in bus service, as well as rail service. That's good. But even better would be the ability to receive text alerts on handheld devices.

That eAlert system is available now for the rail disruptions, but it's still unclear when the service will be available for Metrobus routes. The bus program still is under development. (Lena Sun story in today's Post.)

When the Metrobus disruption information is available, said Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel, "it'll be tailored to riders' specific route preferences, just as rail disruption information is today."

Best of all will be the day when the transit authority can get all the glitches out of its NextBus information system and restore that program, which was suspended in October 2007. That will allow cellphone callers to get updates on arrival times at their bus stops. NextBus should be back in business in on some routes in June 2009, Taubenkibel said.

Right now, people can get next train information on their computers or handheld devices. See this page on Metro's Web site.

By Robert Thomson  |  July 8, 2008; 9:49 AM ET
Categories:  Metro  
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Comments

dr. gridlock: thanks for getting some news on the nextbus program coming back online. ms. sun didn't even bring it up in her story. i wondered if anyone would dig deeper in their reporting of this story, and i think you for doing so.

Posted by: IMGoph | July 8, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

The slow progress on Nextbus is absolutely infruriating. Who is to blame for this? We had a reasonably reliable Nextbus system in place, and then junked it because it wasn't perfect 100% of the time. Now we end up with nothing for almost two years, and I suspect that once it comes back on, it will still be limited to only some lines (many of which are bus lines that come so often that Nextbus accomplishes little) and we'll be stuck once again where we were in the Fall of 2007 with vaugue promises of more lines.

How hard is it to put a damn GPS chip in the bus and track it?! Marathon's track runners all the time, this isn't rocket science.

Posted by: Reid | July 8, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

But it's Metro! Why use existing technology (like GPS) when you can reinvent the wheel and come up with a new proprietary system all your own, at a cost of additional millions? ;) Metro SOP.

Much like the "customer service" response department, which is apparently a black hole.

Posted by: Metro and VDOT should merge | July 8, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, the lack of the NextBus system is the deal breaker for me. It is mind boggling that they are taking this long.

With such unreliable schedules, just knowing where the buses are would help figure out when to stand at a stop.

Posted by: tj | July 8, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"Much like the "customer service" response department, which is apparently a black hole."

Funny you should mention the customer service response department Reid. I have yet to hear back from them myself!

http://wtfmetro.blogspot.com/2008/06/dear-metro.html

http://wtfmetro.blogspot.com/2008/07/dear-metro-update-1.html

Posted by: Metro Man | July 8, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

The NextBus service wasn't junked because it wasn't perfect 100 percent of the time. It was junked because it relayed correct information only about 30 percent of the time.

Posted by: Bus Rider | July 8, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Metro can't use GPS. Metro needs its own satellite system built and launched from UDC.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 8, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

"It was junked because it relayed correct information only about 30 percent of the time."

That's not true. At least, that wasn't the claim of Metro. They claimed it was only 70-80% accurate, so that justified shutting it down.

I've always suspected it was more of a budget decision. If, as you're suggesting, it was because it was only reliable 30% of the time, then why didn't they say that?

Posted by: Reid | July 10, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: loodayScoot | July 10, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know how I do this?

Posted by: NeevaBeaums | July 11, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

spam is awesome, especially when the comment nazis are busy elsewhere

Posted by: Anonymous | July 11, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

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