Tip: OneBusAway Puts Bus Tracking Into Commuters' Hands

Nobody likes standing in the rain waiting for a bus.

If you live in Seattle the combination of that Pacific Northwest liquid sunshine and the snafus that can wrinkle the generally reliable, efficient and extensive bus system could make for a soggy wait. But not any more. Flip open your cell phone on your wait to the bus stop and figure out whether you should duck into the nearest shop for a reprieve.

OneBusAway is a service developed by two University of Washington doctoral students that lets you use your mobile device to track the bus you're waiting for and gets its arrival time for exactly the stop you're using. Nor more estimating from the nearest stop listed on the route, nor guessing about whether the slick roads are causing it to run late.

Search by stop number if you're at the stop and can easily locate its identifier (printed on the posted schedule) or search by route. When searching by route number, you'll be prompted to select the direction and then the exact stop you want. Pull it up and you'll see when the current bus left its starting point, whether it's hitting stops on time and when it's expected at your stop.

Instead of entering information into a browser, you can use their SMS service, just text "onebus (stop_number_here)" to 41411. You'll get arrival information for that stop number texted back to you.

The creators plan enhanced features for iPhones and other devices in the future. OneBusAway Tracks Buses in Seattle Riding the bus in Seattle gets a little more comfortable and convenient through new cell phone service.


iPhone, sms, OneBusAway, Unversity of Washington

Comment and Contribute

    (Maximum characters: 1200). You have 1200 characters left.