Location Aware “Touch Web” Transit Tracker from NextBus

Alameda, California based NextBus delivers frequently updated estimates of the arrival time of the next transit vehicle at a given stop. Delivery is by electronic signs, voice response systems, SMS  and the Internet, including the mobile web. NextBus is used by 45 transit systems in the US and Canada, including my hometown, San Francisco. NextBus’ mobile web site has been an anchor tenant of the WapReview Mobile Directory for many years.  I use it a lot and find it really … Continue reading

OpenMBTA’s Boston Transit Schedule iPhone App Now On Mobile Web

OpenMBTA is a project by developer Daniel Choi and other volunteers whose goal is to promote the use of public transportation by providing free open source transit apps for Boston area residents and travelers. Their first project was a slick location aware iPhone app combining the MTBA’s GTFS schedule data with Google maps to create interactactive map-based schedules for Boston’s bus, rail and ferry transit services. Last month, OpenMBTA launched a  mobile web version of the app at openmbta.org/mobile. The … Continue reading

Mobile Transit Info For Ottawa

Ottawa’s transit agency, OC Transpo, recently launched a mobile transit site at octranspo.mobi.  The mobile site is being promoted with a prominently placed ad on the agency’s full web site that links to a page with a description of the service and instructions for it’s use. The instructions seem to be targeted at people who have never used the mobile web.  The mobile site itself is intuitive enough that most users should have no trouble using it without having to … Continue reading

More Mobile Transit Sites

I’m a confirmed public transit user. When I can’t walk or ride my bike, I take local buses, trains and ferries.  With global warming and ever rising oil prices we should all be trying to limit our driving by making at least some of our trips on public transportation.  Transit, a least when it’s working right, is a great way to get around in cities.  But it can be pretty frustrating too.  Like waiting an hour for a bus only … Continue reading

NYC’s Mobile Train Schedule

Mobile Train Schedule (mobiletrainschedule.com) is an interactive schedule for New York City’s three major commuter rail lines; The Long Island Railroad, New Jersey Transit and Metro-North.  This isn’t an official site, it seems to be an ad supported service from Actuan Mobile. The main feature is “Point to Point Train Times“, a simple schedule lookup (top image), where you pick the start and end stations from dropdowns, choose the time of departure and day of the week and get a … Continue reading


Chicago’s Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has a mobile site (www.rtamobile.com) with a trip planner and schedules for all the agencies that operate rail and bus transit in the greater Chicago area. I’ve been to Chicago several times and have been impressed with the city’s public transit system – fast frequent rail service goes almost everywhere and where rail doesn’t go there is good bus service. I had high expectations for RTA’s trip planner. I have to say I was disappointed. … Continue reading

Almost as Good as QR Codes

Real time transit information is something that is a natural for the mobile web. It’s huge in Japan where it’s often combined with QR Codes for almost instant access. Check out the graphic below from Forrester Research via ZD Net’s Russell Shaw to see how it works. Here in the West, using 2D codes for this purpose is in it’s infancy. There’s a pilot project in Paris but widespread adoption seems years away. The big thing holding back the use … Continue reading

Real-Time Transit Information

In Japan, where the mobile web is much more widely used than in the US and Europe, real-time transit tracking is a very popular web based mobile application. If you use public transit it’s easy to see why. I’m sure you have had the experience of waiting and waiting for a bus and wondering if it will even come. Mobile access to real-time transit arrival and departure information has actually been possible in some US cities for several years. Recently, … Continue reading