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NextBus testing 16 new SF transit line predictions

sf_muni: Muni arrival times, hidden routes

Click me for a cool Google Map mashup

God, I love NextBus.

If you live in San Francisco and, like many folks, rely on SF MUNI to get from place to place, your life gets at least one order of magnitude more liveable when you can consult NextBus's GPS-based arrival predictions for the seven streetcar lines and a handful of popular electric coach (read: "bus") lines.

Of course, NextBus itself is nothing new, but, yes it still completely rules, and yes, I still meet at least one San Franciscan a week who has no idea that NextBus even exists. So, you know. You're welcome.

Anyhow, if you're new to the world of non-roulette-like MUNI transit, here's the current official coverage:

Now, what is new (to me at least) is that it looks like MUNI and NextBus are (non-publicly) testing this august service on several more bus and cable-car lines, and that you can currently get predictions on any them from the web or your phone right now. Although apparently not officially supported yet, here's the 16 new additions (hoisted from the LJ post where I learned about this):

My tip for you: if you have web service on your mobile phone, bookmark the 6-10 stops that you use the most -- do it now. Having those predictions handy (and not needing to type with your thumb in the rain while some guy on Sixth Street is yelling at you about his recently-stolen thoughts) will serve you well in the moist upcoming months, I promise. All hail NextBus!

And, as ever, remember that you can always call 511 to get updated info on Bay Area traffic and transit. I've never tried it for public transit predictions, but apparently you can get MUNI and BART arrival times through a short phone-jail menu. Sweet.

Anshuman's picture

Hey Merlin, did you only...

Hey Merlin, did you only just now receive the 3x5 note card with the news of the hidden MUNI lines? Seriously though, the electrified lines have been on NextBus as "hidden" areas for quite some time now. Over the summer Nextbus actually created some ire by revoking access to the hidden lines and a lot of people were miffed. It was soon restored. At the time, I asked Nathanial Ford (head of MTA) on a morning radio show about the issue to which he replied that anything not 100% correct or ready for primetime is not on the NextBus site. This implied that the predictions for the public lines were always correct, which, of course, they are not if you've used the system for any serious length of time. Given that, should one say not that having 90% correct information is better than waiting for 100% correct information? Given the context of the information (bus times, which are highly variable on traffice conditions and not exactly life or death data) I'd rather have mostly correct, visible, information over no information.

What was heard on SFist made it sound more politically biased.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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