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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.

Oyvind's picture

Here in Oslo, Norway most...

Here in Oslo, Norway most buses have this system. Most bus stops lists buses stopping there, and how many minutes until the next one. The bus driver has a display showing how much he is behind schedule, and how many meters/kilometers until the next stop. And you can check in realtime where your bus is from a mobile phone with wap. Or at the website of the bus company.

If you have positioning enabled on your phone (you have to let your phone company track you), you can have the phone figure out where you are as well.

There has even been tests where you set up where you live on the web, and then - if you type "home" and send an SMS to the bus company - it will find out where you are, and send you an SMS saying "you're at the Ibsen Street, go around the corner at take bus no. 30 coming in 4 minutes..." etc.

Finally 2006 starts behaving like those sci-fi novels with flying cars and whole meals in pills...




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