For the past few months, riders have told us they were left guessing when the next RapidRide C or D line bus might be coming along. Either the information wasn’t available on their smartphones (via the OneBusAway app) or our real-time arrival signs.
That changed quietly over the Christmas holiday. After months of work behind the scenes on software bugs and special data streams, we’re now seeing more accurate arrival time predictions, both on our signs and in the app.
The predictions should now be more – well – predictable. You should see bus arrival times counting down in one-minute increments, with the countdowns less prone to strange jumps. At RapidRide C and D line stops without real-time information signs, riders can use their smartphones to scan QR codes for information for that stop via OneBusAway.
OneBusAway was developed by graduate students at the UW and has become the most popular real-time third-party app in the area. It has become an important feature that many riders think of as part of Metro’s system, however Metro does not operate the app. Metro provides data to any interested third party application developers who wish to use our system data.
OneBusAway and real-time arrival info are important to us and to our riders, especially during evening commutes when crowding and frustration can be eased by riders knowing, for example, that another bus is only a handful of minutes away.
C and D line arrival signs are more accurate these days.
Our tech experts continue to watch the real-time information system very closely to make sure it’s working as it should. The system is complex, relying on vehicle locators, communications systems (fiber optics and radio), predictive software, two connected RapidRide lines, and the OneBusAway app. Metro is committed to having these all work together as reliably as possible, but on any given day, one little break in the chain of information could produce a temporary outage that requires patience from our riders.
For now, thanks for your patience while we worked on the problem, and let us know how the app and real-time arrival signs are working for you.