Home Page

The SmartTraveler Plus home page (see Figure 1) provides buttons to access the application’s major functions, which, depending upon local configuration, may include:

Mouse over (that is, position the cursor over) any button to view a brief description of the function accessed by clicking that button.

The home page also includes a Transit Messages display, where the transit agency may alert site visitors to current conditions, such as detours and service delays.

Home page help image
Figure 1. SmartTraveler Plus Home Page Layout.

Below Table summarizes and describes the major elements of the home page.

Table 1. SmartTraveler Plus Home Page Elements.
Screen Object Description
Banner Transit property’s banner, which may be image inherited from parent pages of the transit property’s Web site.
Select Language control For multi-lingual implementations, allows user to select a text language.
Current temperature Displays the current temperature in the transit property’s locale.
Current date, time Displays the current date & time in the transit property’s locale.
Function buttons Click buttons to access the major SmartTraveler Plus functions. Mouse over buttons to view a brief description of each function. See bullets under section Home Page, above, for a description of available functions.
Transit Messages display Display is used to alert site visitors to current conditions, such as detours and service delays, and other important announcements.



Real-Time Map & Schedule

This function displays real-time transit service graphically on a map view of streets, transit routes, stops, and vehicles. The page offers clickable features so a user may select a stop to get current vehicle arrival time projections at that location or select a vehicle icon to get current service (route & direction) information and schedule status of that vehicle. Figure 2 illustrates the layout of the Real-Time Map & Schedule page.

Real time page help image

Figure 2. Real-Time Map & Schedule Page Layout.

Below Table summarizes and describes the major elements of the Real-Time Map & Schedule page.

Screen Object Description
Select Language control For multi-lingual implementations, allows user to select a text language.
Recent Stops list Lists up to five recently selected stops, showing stops’ numeric IDs and service routes. User may click on any of the list stops to select that stop and display current vehicle arrival time projections there.
Bus Arrival Status list List of current vehicle arrival time status information for the selected stop:
  • Header identifies the currently selected bus stop by its numeric ID and address
  • List body provides arrival status data for upcoming vehicle trips servicing that stop. “Destination” column identifies vehicles’ route and destination. “ETA” column displays projected arrival status in clock time, countdown, or “Due” mode.
  • Footer indicates the “last refresh time” for the status data listed above.
Navigation controls Standard Google Maps controls to pan in any direction in the map view or set the zoom level.
Map legend Identifies transit icons used in the map view, including:
  • Bus Stop (small red dot)
  • Selected Bus Stop (larger green dot)
  • Current Bus Location (bus icon)
Current temperature Displays the current temperature in the transit property’s locale.
Current date, time Displays the current date & time in the transit property’s locale.
Find Stop functions Tabs to access Stop Selection Functions (for procedures, see below):
  • Find by Stop: Select a stop by its numeric ID.
  • Find by Route: Select a stop by service route & direction
  • Find by Address: Select a stop by street address.
Transit Messages display Scrolling message display used to alert site visitors to current conditions, such as detours and service delays, and other important announcements.
Route legend Identifies by color the transit routes displayed on the map view. User may hide/unhide routes selectively by clicking on their corresponding checkboxes.
Select View controls Control to toggle between different map views:
  • Map: View streets with street names, plus other important geographic features like bodies of water, parks, and point landmarks.
  • Satellite: View aerial imagery.
  • Hybrid: View aerial imagery overlaid with streets and street names.
  • Terrain: View elevation of natural geographic features overlaid with streets and street names.

The following sections describe navigation and functional features of this page.

Map Navigation

The user navigates the Real-Time Map & Schedule page’s map by using common Google Maps features, including the following:

a) “Map” view: map view image
a) “Satellite” view: satelite view image
a) “Hybrid” view: hybrid view image

Figure 3. Map View Options.

Route Legend

The route legend is shown directly above the map view. This legend identifies all transit routes selected for display on the map. Routes are identified by number & name and are associated with a color that matches the route trace shown on the map. Click the checkbox next to a route to hide/unhide that route’s trace from the map.

Transit Markers

The SmartTraveler Plus map display includes the following types of markers to show information on transit assets:

Stop Selection Functions

To access transit arrival status information for a stop, that stop must first be selected on the Real-Time Map & Schedule page. This section describes the available procedures for selecting a stop.

To select a stop via the map view
  1. On the Real-Time Map & Schedule page’s map view, navigate to, then click, the stop marker of interest. The stop’s info window pops up.
  2. Click on the “Select this stop” hyperlink in the info window to select this stop. The stop’s marker changes to a larger green dot to indicate that it is the currently selected stop. The Bus Arrival Status list, Recent Stops list, and route legend update to reflect the currently selected stop.
To select a stop by numeric identifier
  1. On the Real-Time Map & Schedule page, click the “Find by Stop” tab above the map view. The “Enter a stop #” data entry field appears (see Figure 4).

    find by stop help image

    Figure 4

  2. In the “Enter a stop #” data entry field, enter the numeric identifier for the stop of interest, then click the Get Route button.
  3. If the entered number does not identify a recognized stop, the message “No stop found for given stop code.” appears. Review and correct the entered value or, if the identifier is not known, try one of the other stop selection procedures described in this section.
  4. If the entered number does identify a recognized stop, the “Select routes” selection list appears.
  5. In the “Select routes” selection list, click on a single route of interest or click on the “Show All Routes” entry to retrieve status information for all routes serving this stop. Click the Search button. The map view updates to center on the selected stop with the green dot marker. The Bus Arrival Status list, Recent Stops list, and route legend update to reflect the currently selected stop.

To select a stop by transit route

  1. On the Real-Time Map & Schedule page, click the “Find by Route” tab above the map view. The “Routes” pull-down selection list appears, listing all service routes, each in combination with one or two service directions, in the transit system (see Figure 5).

    find by stop help image

    Figure 5

  2. In the “Routes” selection list, click a route & direction of interest. The “Stops” pull-down selection list appears to the right of the “Routes” list, listing all stops that are served by the selected transit route & direction.
  3. In the “Stops” selection list, click a stop of interest. The map view updates to center on the selected stop with the green dot marker. The Bus Arrival Status list, Recent Stops list, and route legend update to reflect the currently selected stop.

To select a stop by street address

  1. On the Real-Time Map & Schedule page, click the “Find by Address” tab above the map view. The “Enter an address” data entry field appears (see Figure 6).

    find by stop help image

    Figure 6

  2. In the “Enter an address” data entry field, enter the street address of interest. Directly after the street address, the municipality name, state/province name or abbreviation, and/or postal code may be entered to qualify the address further. When finished entering the street address, click the Find button.
  3. If the entered address matches multiple locations, the message “Many addresses found, please select from list or search again.” appears. A list of the matching addresses also appears to the right of the “Enter an address” field. Click one of the addresses shown in this list. The “Select routes” selection list appears.
  4. In the “Select routes” selection list, click on a single route of interest or click on the “Show All Routes” entry to retrieve status information for all routes serving this stop. Click the Search button. The map view updates to center on the selected stop with the green dot marker. The Bus Arrival Status list, Recent Stops list, and route legend update to reflect the currently selected stop.

To return to a recently selected stop

SmartTraveler Plus remembers the five stops most recently selected by the user on this computer. (Note that this requires cookies to be enabled on the user’s computer.) These stops are identified in the Real-Time Map & Schedule page’s “Recent Stops” list (see Figure 7). Stops are listed by their numeric identifier and the route(s) for which transit arrival status information was requested.

  1. In the “Recent Stops” list shown at the top left corner of the Real-Time Map & Schedule page, click one of the listed stops. The map view updates to center on the selected stop with the green dot marker. The Bus Arrival Status list, Recent Stops list, and route legend update to reflect the currently selected stop.

    recent stops help image

    Figure 7

Route Schedules

The Route Schedules page allows site visitors to view stop-level timetables of the planned transit schedule for a selected route & direction at a selected stop for a selected date. Figure 8 illustrates the Route Schedules page for an example selected timetable.

The timetable is presented in tabular format. Table columns represent individual vehicle trips serving the selected route & direction ordered chronologically from left to right. Table rows represent stops sorted from top to bottom in the order that they are visited along the selected route & direction by vehicle trips . Table cells display the schedule vehicle arrival/departure/passing time for the vehicle trip at the transit stop identified at left.

route schedule help image

Figure 8

Timetable Selection Functions

The user may select a timetable of interest by either of two methods: (1) by first selecting the service route & direction of interest and then the stop of interest, or (2) by first selecting the stop of interest and then selection the service route & direction of interest. Procedures for both selection methods follow.

To select a timetable by route & direction then stop
  1. From the SmartTraveler Plus home page, click the Route Schedules button. The Route Schedules page is displayed with empty data entry fields shown at the top, including a “Select a Route” pull-down selection list that lists all service routes, each in combination with one or two service directions, in the transit system, and a “Type a Stop” entry field.
  2. In the “Select a Route” pull-down list, click a route & direction of interest. The “Select a Stop” pull-down selection list becomes active, listing all stops that are served by the selected transit route & direction.
  3. In the “Select a Stop” selection list, click a stop of interest. The main body of the page is updated to display the timetable for today’s date for the selected service route & direction, and highlighting the selected stop.
To select a timetable by stop then route & direction
  1. From the SmartTraveler Plus home page, click the Route Schedules button. The Route Schedules page is displayed with empty data entry fields shown at the top, including a “Select a Route” pull-down selection list that lists all service routes, each in combination with one or two service directions, in the transit system, and a “Type a Stop” entry field.
  2. In the “Type a Stop” data entry field, enter the numeric identifier for the stop of interest, then press the Enter key.
  3. If the entered number does not identify a recognized stop, the message “No stop found for given stop code.” appears. Review and correct the entered value or, if the identifier is not known, try another timetable selection procedures described in this section.
  4. If the entered number does identify a recognized stop, the “Select a Route” selection list becomes active.
  5. In the “Select a Route” selection list, click a route & direction of interest. The main body of the page is updated to display the timetable for today’s date for the selected service route & direction, and highlighting the selected stop.

Timetable Navigation

Once a timetable is selected and displayed on the Route Schedules page, the user navigates the timetable using the following tools:

Trip Planner


If the transit property maintains its own online transit itinerary planning Web page, or makes its service and schedule data available to the Google Transit page, the SmartTraveler Plus home page’s Trip Planner button may be configured to link to that page. Figure 9 shows an example Google Transit display.

From the SmartTraveler Plus home page, click the Trip Planner button to link to the transit property’s online transit planner or Google Transit.

For more information on using Google Transit, refer to its online help at http://maps.google.com/help/maps/transit/.

trip planner help image

Figure 9

Notify Me

This function allows site visitors to subscribe for personalized vehicle arrival notifications and alerts via e-mail or SMS (that is, short message service) text messaging. Before using Notify Me, the user must register and set up their notification user profile. Once registered, the user may log in to the Notify Me page to configure the notification of interest by selecting stop number, service route & direction, day(s) of week, and time of service.

User Registration

Notify Me users must first register with the system. After initial registration, users may modify their user profiles, for instance to change the method of notification from e-mail to SMS text or vice versa.

To register as a new “Notify Me” user
  1. From the SmartTraveler Plus home page, click the Notify Me button. The Login page appears (see Figure 10).
  2. Click the “Click Here to Register!” button. The Registration page appears (see Figure 11).
  3. Fill in each of the required data entry fields shown on this page: First Name, Last Name, Email, Password, and Retype Password. Note that passwords are required to have at least six characters and are case sensitive.
  4. If mobile (SMS text messaging) notifications are desired, enter the mobile phone’s number in the Mobile data entry field, and select the cellular phone service provider’s name from the Cellular Provider pull-down selection list.
  5. Select the desired notification method from the options listed under “How would you like us to send the notification?”: None, Email, or SMS.
  6. Click Save to transmit the registration input data.
  7. If any of the required data entries are missing or invalid, the Registration page reappears with red text at top specifying which input data is missing or incorrect. Correct the data entries as required and click Save to retransmit the registration input data.
  8. If all of the registration input data is valid, the Login page appears with the message “Registered Successfully” near the top.
  9. Once successfully registered, the user may proceed to log in to the Notify Me function to select transit service notifications of interest. See the User Login and Logout section.

    login help image

    Figure 10

    Notify Me Function, “Login” Page.


    Registration help image

    Figure 11

    Notify Me Function, “Registration” Page.

To modify the user profile
  1. From the Notifications page (see Figure 10), click SETTINGS at the top-right corner. The Settings–Edit Profile page appears (see Figure 12).
  2. If mobile (SMS text messaging) notifications are desired, enter the mobile phone’s number in the Mobile data entry field, and select the cellular phone service provider’s name from the Cellular Provider pull-down selection list.
  3. Select the desired notification method from the options listed under “How would you like us to send the notification?”: None, Email, or SMS.
  4. Click Save to transmit the registration input data. If all of the new profile settings are valid, the message “Records updated successfully” appears near the top of this page.
  5. Click NOTIFICATION at the top-right corner of the Edit Profile page to return to the Notifications page (see Figure 14).
To change login password
  1. From the Notifications page (see Figure 10), click SETTINGS at the top-right corner. The Settings–Edit Profile page appears (see Figure 12).
  2. Click CHANGE PASSWORD near the top-left corner of this page. The Settings–Change Password page appears (see Figure 13).
  3. Fill in each of the required data entry fields shown on this page: Current Password, New Password, and Confirm New Password. Note that passwords are required to have at least six characters and are case sensitive.
  4. Click Change Password to submit the password change request. If the data entries are valid, the message “Password reset successfully” appears near the top of this page.

  5. If any of the data entries is missing or invalid, a message in red text at the top of the page is displayed (for example: “The password reset failed. Please ensure your current password is correct.”). Correct the data entries as required and click Change Password to resubmit the password change request.
  6. Click NOTIFICATION at the top-right corner of the Edit Profile page to return to the Notifications page (see Figure 10).

    Edit Profile help image

    Figure 12

    Notify Me Function, “Settings–Edit Profile” Page.


    Change Password help image

    Figure 13

    Notify Me Function, “Settings–Change Password” Page.

User Login and Logout

Registered Notify Me users must log in to view or modify their current notification subscriptions.

To log in
  1. From the SmartTraveler Plus home page, click the Notify Me button. The Login page appears (see Figure 10).
  2. Fill in the UserName and Password data entry fields shown on this page. The UserName is the user’s full e-mail address as entered during user registration. (Note that the “Remember me next time” feature to accelerate user login requires cookies to be enabled on the user’s computer.)
  3. Click the Submit button to the right of the Password data entry field. If the login data entries are valid, the Notifications page appears (see Figure 14).
  4. If required login data entries are missing or invalid, the Login page reappears with red text at top: “Your login attempt was not successful. Please try again.” Correct the data entries as required and click Submit to retransmit the login data.
  5. To receive a password reminder by e-mail, fill in the Email entry field underneath the prompt “Did you forget your password? Enter your e-mail address to have your password sent to you.” Then click the Submit button to the right of this field. If the entered e-mail address is matched to a registered Notify Me user, the user receives an e-mail message with the registered password after a short while. If the e-mail address does not match that of any registered Notify Me user, the Login page reappears with the message “Membership Error.” The user needs to register per the instructions under the User Registration section.
To log out

From the Notifications page, click LOGOUT at the top-right corner. The user is logged out and the Login page appears.

Notification Subscription

From the Notifications page (Figure 14), the user may subscribe for personalized service notifications to be received via e-mail or SMS text messages, as defined in the user’s profile during the registration process. Each notification definition identifies a specific combination of bus stop, service route & direction, day(s) of week, and time of day. The user may set up multiple notification subscriptions, say for both the home-to-work and work-to-home transit trips each weekday. After initial setup, the user may subsequently modify, disable (in other words, temporarily suspend), or permanently delete selected individual subscriptions.

Table 6‑3 summarizes and describes the major elements of the Notifications page.

Notifications help image

Notify Me Function, “Notifications” Page Layout.

Screen Object Description
Select Language control For multi-lingual implementations, allows user to select a text language.
Recent Stops list Lists up to five recently selected stops, showing stops’ numeric IDs and service routes. User may click on any of the list stops to select that stop and display current vehicle arrival time projections there.
Notifications Specification list Allows user to specify the transit service(s) of interest for which to receive notifications.
Navigation controls Standard Google Maps controls to pan in any direction in the map view or set the zoom level.
Current temperature Displays the current temperature in the transit property’s locale.
Current date, time Displays the current date & time in the transit property’s locale.
Find Stop functions Tabs to access Stop Selection Functions:
  • Find by Stop: Select a stop by its numeric ID.
  • Find by Route: Select a stop by service route & direction.
  • Find by Address: Select a stop by street address.
Transit Messages display Message display used to alert site visitors to current conditions, such as detours and service delays, and other important announcements.
Select View controls Control to toggle between different map views:
  • Map: View streets with street names, plus other important geographic features like bodies of water, parks, and point landmarks.
  • Satellite: View aerial imagery.
  • Hybrid: View aerial imagery overlaid with streets and street names.

Here follow the procedures for managing the user’s personalized service notification subscriptions.

To create new notification subscriptions
  1. On the Notifications page (see Figure 14), fill in a complete block of data entry fields shown in the Notifications Specification list, including these fields:
    • Stop: A numeric bus stop identifier;
    • Route: A service route & direction that serves the bus stop;
    • Date: Select a single day of the week (e.g., Monday, Thursday) or “Weekday” (to receive notifications for service Mondays thru Fridays), or “Weekend” (to receive notifications for service on Saturdays and Sundays);
    • Time: Specify the desired notification time of day by selecting hours & minutes and AM or PM from the two pull-down lists;
    • Notify?: To enable notifications immediately, check this checkbox.
  2. To specify additional subscriptions, fill in additional blocks of data entry fields.
  3. When finished specifying notification subscriptions, click Save to submit the subscription request. If any of the required data entries for a subscription are missing or invalid, a message pops up to specify the data issue. Correct the data entry as required and click Save to resubmit the request.
  4. If all of the input data is valid, the message “Notification(s) saved successfully.” appears below the Save button.
  5. To reload the Notifications Specification list settings last saved by the user, click Reload. The data entry fields are restored to the saved settings and the message “Notification(s) reloaded successfully.” appears below the Reload button.
To modify existing notification subscriptions
  1. Go to the Notifications page to view the currently saved notification subscription settings.
  2. Edit one or more data entry fields – Stop, Route, Date, and/or Time – for any of the currently saved subscriptions.
  3. When finished, click Save to submit the data modification request. If any of the required data entries for a subscription are missing or invalid, a message pops up to specify the data issue. Correct the data entry as required and click Save to resubmit the request.
  4. If all of the input data is valid, the message “Notification(s) saved successfully.” appears below the Save button.
To disable/enable existing notification subscriptions
  1. Go to the Notifications page to view the currently saved notification subscription settings.
  2. To suspend notification service for any of the currently saved subscriptions, uncheck the “Notify?” checkbox in that block of data entry fields. (This action does not delete the subscription specification itself.)
  3. To resume notification service for any of the currently saved subscriptions, check the “Notify?” checkbox in that block of data entry fields.
  4. When finished, click Save to submit the disable/enable subscription request. If all of the input data is valid, the message “Notification(s) saved successfully.” appears below the Save button.
To delete existing notification subscriptions
  1. Go to the Notifications page to view the currently saved notification subscription settings.
  2. To delete a specific subscription, check the “Delete” checkbox in that block of data entry fields.
  3. When finished, click Save to submit the delete subscription request. The data entry fields of the deleted subscriptions are restored to their default (empty) settings and the message “Notification(s) saved successfully.” appears below the Save button.

Notification Messages

For each defined and enabled notification subscription, on the subscription’s user-specified day(s) of the week within approximately a minute of the specified notification time, SmartTraveler Plus issues an e-mail or encapsulated SMS message to the user. The message body identifies the notification’s user-specified route and bus stop number, destination(s), and the next three vehicles’ estimated arrival times.

Figure 15 illustrates a sample e-mail notification. This sample message indicates that, as of the notification time of 8:25 AM, the next three Route 30 vehicles arriving at Bus Stop 831 and destined for Downtown are expected to arrive at 8:35AM, 8:55AM, and 9:10AM.

From: MTA NextRide [mailto:nextride@mta.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2011 8:25 AM
To: Rider, John Q
Subject: NextRide Notification

Rt 30 at # 831
to Downtown at 8:35AM, 8:55AM, 9:10AM


Sample E-Mail Notification.


NOTES: System-configurable elements of the notification message, such as the subject-line text and arrival time format, are set during SmartTraveler Plus installation. Time format options are 12-hour ([h]h:mmAM/PM) or 24-hour (hh:mm) time.

Route, destination, and estimated time of arrival text should be set to be similar in format to that displayed on LED and LCD information devices to present information consistently to transit customers.

It is also preferable to keep destination text strings short for ease of reading on mobile phones with limited screen sizes and to reduce (SMS) text messaging payload, especially for on-demand notifications that may report multiple destinations (see Chapter 7 section on On-Demand Notification via Text Messaging). Some mobile phone carriers impose a maximum limit on SMS message length (e.g., 130 to 170 characters) while others handle messages as Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) instead of SMS, perhaps imposing a higher per-message cost on the end-user.

Reliability and timeliness of notification messages is in part subject to the transit agency’s Mail Server and IT network reliability, which is out of the control of the SmartTraveler Plus product deployment. If, for instance, the Mail Server is down, notification messages cannot be issued to users.


SmartTraveler Plus Mobile Operation

The SmartTraveler Plus Mobile application provides PDA and smartphone users access to real-time transit arrival status information, timetables, and service alerts. This chapter documents:

Accessing SmartTraveler Plus Mobile

To access the SmartTraveler Plus Mobile home page, launch the Web browser application and go to this address: .

The SmartTraveler Plus Mobile home page appears (see Figure 20).

Home Page

The SmartTraveler Plus Mobile home page (see Figure 20) provides hypertext links to access the application’s major functions, which, depending upon local configuration, may include:

The following sections explain how to use each of these functions.

Mobile home page help image

SmartTraveler Plus Mobile Home Page

Real-Time Schedule

From the SmartTraveler Plus Mobile home page (see Figure 20), touch the “Real-Time Schedule” link to access the Real-Time Schedule Selection page (see Figure 21). Use this page to obtain current vehicle arrival time projections for the next upcoming trips at a selected bus stop.

To obtain arrival time status information for a selected bus stop, enter the numeric identifier of the bus stop of interest – for instance, read off of the bus stop signage – at the “Enter a stop” prompt, then touch “GO” to proceed.

Mobile Real-Time Schedule Selection help image

SmartTraveler Plus Mobile “Real-Time Schedule Selection” Page.

If the entered number is a valid bus stop, the display changes to the Arrival Status page (see Figure 22). The top of this page identifies the currently selected bus stop by its numeric ID and address. This is followed by a list of the next upcoming vehicle trips servicing this stop. The “Destination” column identifies each trip’s route and destination. The “ETA” column displays projected arrival status in clock time, countdown, or “Due” mode.

To return to the SmartTraveler Plus Mobile home page (see Figure 21), touch the “Home” link.

Mobile Arrival Status help image

SmartTraveler Plus Mobile “Arrival Status” Page.

Schedule (Planned Timetable)

From the SmartTraveler Plus Mobile home page (see Figure 21), touch the “Schedule” link to access the Planned Schedule Selection page (see Figure 24). Use this page to obtain scheduled vehicle arrival times for a selected bus stop, service route & direction, date, and time.

To obtain scheduled trip times, enter data at these selection page prompts:

After completing these entries, touch Get Schedule to proceed.

Mobile Planned Schedule Selection help image

SmartTraveler Plus Mobile “Planned Schedule Selection” Page.

the entered data is valid, the display changes to the Scheduled Times page (see Figure 25). The top of this page identifies the currently selected bus stop by its numeric ID and address. This is followed by a list of the scheduled trip times at the selected bus stop for the selected route & direction, date, and time range. The “Destination” column identifies each trip’s route and destination. The “ETA” column displays scheduled arrival time.

To return to the SmartTraveler Plus Mobile home page (see Figure 21), touch the “Home” link.

Mobile Scheduled Times help image

SmartTraveler Plus Mobile “Scheduled Times” Page.

Transit Messages

From the SmartTraveler Plus Mobile home page (see Figure 21), touch the “Transit Messages” link to access the Transit Messages page (see Figure 26). Under the “TRANSIT MESSAGES” heading, this page displays general messages issued by the transit agency regarding current transit service conditions, such as detours and service delays, and other important announcements.

To add to the display messages specific to routes serving a bus stop of interest, enter the stop’s numeric identifier – for instance, read off of the bus stop signage – at the “Enter a stop” prompt, then touch “GO” to proceed. If the entered number is a valid bus stop, the “TRANSIT MESSAGES” display changes to insert alerts specific to that stop.

Mobile Transit Messages help image

SmartTraveler Plus Mobile “Transit Messages” Page.

On-Demand Notification via Text Messaging

The on-demand notification service responds with a message back to the user reporting transit status as of the time of the request (that is, right now). The message body identifies the bus stop number, route(s) of service, destination(s), and the next three vehicles’ estimated arrival times.

On-Demand Notification Request Options
Request Option Example Message Text Message Response
Bus Stop Number only 1023 Reports expected time of arrival for the next three vehicles, serving any route to any destination at the specified bus stop.
Bus Stop Number and Route separated by a space character 1023{space}54 Reports expected time of arrival for the next three vehicles serving the specified route at the specified bus stop.
Empty text or 0 (zero)

(If the user’s mobile phone carrier does not support sending text messages with an empty body, send 0, which will be treated as empty text.)
0 Reports, as separate text messages, expected time of arrival for the next three vehicles for each of the user’s currently defined and enabled notification subscriptions. Bus stop, route & direction of service are as specified in the notification subscriptions (see Chapter 6 section on Notification Subscription). Each message reports the next three vehicles’ status as of right now, regardless of the subscriptions’ defined days of week and notification times.

The following figures illustrate sample text message exchanges for each of the request options shown in Table 21.

Request message:

1023

Response message:

At # 1023
Rt 54
to Downtown at 4:11PM
to Shopping Mall at 4:21PM
Rt 72
to Village P&R at 4:15PM

Sample On-Demand Notification Message Exchange: Bus Stop Number Only.
Request message:

1023 54

Response message:

Rt 54 at # 1023
to Downtown at 4:11PM, 4:31PM
to Shopping Mall at 4:21PM

Sample On-Demand Notification Message Exchange: Bus Stop Number and Route.

Figure 29 assumes the user currently has two notification subscriptions defined and enabled, one for Route 52 at Bus Stop 3550, and one for Route 54 at 1023.

Request message:

0

1st response message (corresponds to 1st notification subscription):

Rt 52 at # 3550
to Town Hall at 1:15PM, 1:30PM, 1:45PM

2nd response message (corresponds to 2nd notification subscription):

Rt 54 at # 1023
to Downtown at 1:11PM, 1:31PM
to Shopping Mall at 1:21PM

Figure 29. Sample On-Demand Notification Message Exchange: Empty Text or 0.

For the “empty text” option to result in an on-demand notification response, the user must be registered for the “Notify Me” function (see Chapter 6 section on User Registration) and must have at least one defined (and enabled) notification subscription (see Chapter 6 section on Notification Subscription). Otherwise no message is sent.

If a user sends a request with invalid data, the system will discard the request. (This protects the system against malicious attacks from phones sending sending garbage requests.)

On-demand notifications cannot be used to request (scheduled) transit information for a future time. To obtain future schedule information, use the SmartTraveler Plus Mobile application’s Schedule (Planned Timetable) option.