Aaron Brethorst, lead developer for the OneBusAway iPhone app, recently announced a major new release, OneBusAway 18.2, now available on the App Store. This release includes a set of important new features as well as numerous bug fixes.  Three of these new features are: The Map Table: an easy way for riders to see all of the transit stops around them. Agency Alerts: a simple way for transit agencies to share breaking news. Siri Shortcuts: a quick way to access most-used transit stops. Siri works with OneBusAway to learn the rider’s favorite transit stops so that it can automatically recommend them from the lock and search screens. Of particular interest to transit agencies may be the Agency Alerts feature, which allow agencies to quickly publish short, region-wide alerts that are then shown directly inside the Map Table in the app.  This feature is currently available only on iOS, but we are planning on adding it to Android as well.  Agency Alerts are implemented in compliance with the standard GTFS-RT specification.  In addition, for agencies that don’t (yet?) publish region-wide GTFS-RT alerts, and for cases when the OneBusAway server in a region is down and that needs to be communicated to riders, …

Agency Alerts and Other New Features for OneBusAway on iPhone Read more »

Providing reliable real time information has been at the top of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System’s priority list for many years. MTS launched a very successful texting program with a unique short code 7 years ago. Now, with the full-featured OneBusAway apps, MTS is able to provide far more information and capabilities for its riders on their smartphones. Converting people from texting (540,000 times per month on average) to OneBusAway over the last year has been a challenge. With more than 5,000 bus blades in the system pre-printed with texting info that would require a very labor intensive effort to replace, MTS took a strategic approach to convert texting users to OneBusAway. First, we identified the top 200 stops where texting was prevalent. New decals were made for those bus blades that replaced texting info with OneBusAway info instead. Also, every text sent to riders included a message about OneBusAway. Traditional advertisements and rider information guides were also put on every vehicle in addition to playing messages advertising the apps on our bus stop announcement system. Basically, anywhere we had space, we put an advertisement. The effort was successful, reducing texting usage by about 1 million texts in the …

San Diego Metropolitan Transit System OBA reaches 17,000 users Read more »

Hello Riders, This release took longer than expected, mostly because I kept adding stuff to it. But, I think it’s worth the wait! OneBusAway 17.4.0 adds alarms to tell you when your bus is a certain number of minutes away, a new search experience, and a huge amount of polish. The newest features include: Map See the direction you’re pointing in on the map New search experience (Check it out, it’s way better!) New icons Toggle between standard map and hybrid satellite views Quickly access nearby stops from the toolbar butons on the map Regional Alerts I want to give a huge thank you to Ben, who designed and built out the backend system that this new feature relies on. His expertise was invaluable in making this happen. <3 When a serious issue happens with the bus system, you’ll receive an alert as soon as you open the app that gives you more information about it. This way, you’ll never get caught off guard by salmon trucks or snow days again. Please note: I am currently manually adding this data to the system, so early morning commuters might not get to take advantage of it. Just a head’s up. You …

OBA 17.4.0 Release! Read more »

For the past few years, OneBusAway has been slowly growing behind the scenes, adding new cities from San Diego to Washington DC. The little Seattle app started by two PhD students at the University of Washington in 2008 has grown up to be one of the most successful open source coding projects and a source of real-time transit arrival information for hundreds of thousands of users. We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished the last few years, especially considering we’ve done it largely on volunteer efforts and transit agencies commitment to open source and open data. Each year in January, we hold a yearly board meeting to elect new board members and bring in new project members. We also give updates about each OneBusAway region and the various apps and platforms. At this year’s meeting, it became clear that a lot is going on within our project, but one thing we could improve is communicating the great stuff that is happening to our users and interested parties (transit agencies, consultants, etc.). Therefore, we are starting this new blog to let you all know what we are up to. We’ll periodically include posts about deployments in the various cities, new efforts with …

A new year, a new blog Read more »