Why TransLink’s new mobile website is a game changer
Posted: 17 September 2011 Filed under: Transit | Tags: buses, postaweek2011, real time, translink
TransLink stop 52417
Same stop info, with map zoomed out.
Earlier this month, TransLink updated its mobile website. While portions of it are in beta mode (which I tested a week before the general release), and with more functionality to come, the big new feature is real-time tracking of buses serving a particular stop.
When you load the next scheduled arrivals at a particular bus stop in a map, the map displays that stop’s location, as well as the location of all the active buses on the route at the moment. In the example above right, you can see there are three buses on route 106 that are about to pass through stop #52417. If I zoomed out the map further, there could be one or two more, going back to the 106’s origin at Metrotown. At the moment, buses update their position every two minutes. A “refresh” button can be tapped to, well, refresh the position of the bus(es).
Knowing where the bus is (within a two-minute delay) is the game changer for me. Before this info was provided by TransLink, I gave myself a leeway of as much as 5 minutes before the bus is scheduled to leave a stop, or 10 minutes from when I leave my place. Now with real-time info, I can track the bus as it approaches my stop and leave my place accordingly. No more unnecessarily long waits at a stop because I didn’t know a particular bus was delayed. It gets more important now that summer is well and truly over, and waiting for a bus in the rain is never a pleasant experience.
Have you viewed TransLink’s new real-time info yet? Has it been helpful so far? Are you looking forward to any new functions from the mobile website?
PS. I have updated this blog’s theme (Clean Home), as part of much-needed house-cleaning. Comments and suggestions welcome!