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NVAS for TTC buses finally to go live on Monday

Posted by Derek Flack / July 7, 2011

TTC Buses Next Vehicle Arrival TimesLost in all of yesterday's talk of the TTC's new advertising contract and the possibility of station naming rights being sold was the news that GPS-based next vehicle arrival times for TTC buses will be made available starting on Monday. This comes almost two months after a beta version of the feed was inadvertently made available on May 10th, but subsequently taken down for further refinement and testing.

Although not all bus stops will be adorned with stickers notifying customers of the number to text when the data goes live, those looking to use the service immediately can consult a list that will be put up on the TTC website. The information will also be available through the NextBus web and mobile sites, and one suspects that by the end of next week popular apps like Rocket Radar, Pocket Rocket and Next TTC will have pushed through updates that make use of the new open data feed.

For my money, these dedicated apps are the best way to get next vehicle information, but the good news for people who don't carry smartphones is that a staff proposal to charge users who use SMS messaging for this information has been deferred for review until September 22nd. Had it passed, riders would have been allotted two free texts per day, after which point each subsequent message was to cost 15 cents.

This is all quite welcome news for those who rely on buses for their daily commute. Using the fixed schedule (posted at bus stops and online) for surface vehicles was always a great way to add some frustration to one's day, and I can't say I'll miss that.

Discussion

19 Comments

Curious / July 7, 2011 at 12:54 pm
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Anyone know of any Android TTC apps?
Michael / July 7, 2011 at 12:57 pm
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Fantastic. Now I can leave my apartment when I know the bus is coming and not wait outside for 20 minutes in the rain.
Joseph replying to a comment from Curious / July 7, 2011 at 12:59 pm
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Not a TTC app in particular, but I use Google Maps which has transit data. I'm unsure if it's updated live, but it's pretty accurate and handles transfers with estimated times.
David / July 7, 2011 at 02:07 pm
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I liked the version in Paris where the next bus arrival was displayed at the stop. No need for smartphones.
mr7eh replying to a comment from David / July 7, 2011 at 02:19 pm
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Well.... yeah... but that's like... weigh too smart for the TTC.
Thomas replying to a comment from Curious / July 7, 2011 at 02:24 pm
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I use "Next TTC" - it's a very good, easy to use app. (http://thmsgrg.ca/qRdbqp)
JeffreyM replying to a comment from mr7eh / July 7, 2011 at 02:25 pm
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Or way too expensive....
mr73|-| replying to a comment from Curious / July 7, 2011 at 02:25 pm
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http://lmgtfy.com/?q=android+ttc



dur dur dur
mat / July 7, 2011 at 02:27 pm
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i use their text based info right now. i love knowing that my ride home looks like this:

501, 21 minutes, 501, 22 minutes, 501 34 minutes, 501, 34 minutes, 501, 34 minutes, 501 35 minutes, 501, 75 minutes. i wonder if anyone at the TTC will ever see what is wrong with that........



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5CrUcYVsZ4
<img src="/images/phone/post_tag.png" alt="Phone Post" border="0" style="vertical-align:middle;"/>
Curious replying to a comment from mr73|-| / July 7, 2011 at 02:28 pm
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*eyeroll* I DID google it last night, but all hits came up with apps that no longer existed, or links for iPhone apps.

(Thx, Thomas, Joseph!)
Nick replying to a comment from Curious / July 7, 2011 at 02:45 pm
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NextBus does a pretty decent web app if you don't mind going that route instead of native.

http://nextbus.com/webkit
Mel replying to a comment from David / July 7, 2011 at 09:52 pm
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The benefit of this system is that you don't have to be at the stop to know when the bus will arrive.
Zach replying to a comment from David / July 7, 2011 at 11:11 pm
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Same thing in South Korea as well.
Bob J. / July 8, 2011 at 12:24 am
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I lived in San Francisco for awhile - it has Nextbus - works great and I love the GPS-enabled mobile site - shows you the nearest stops in proximity order, gives you predictions, shows you the routes the stops are on - a lot of the apps just don't work well because the developers don't keep them up to date. Hurrah to TTC for bringing us Nextbus.
kamran / July 9, 2011 at 09:41 am
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finally.. been waiting years for this.
Mark Dowling / July 10, 2011 at 11:23 pm
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Looking forward to the mass of streetcar icons lined up at a station the next time a passenger gets a driver in a hissy fit and his supervisor lunges at a video camera in order to calm the situation.
Hussain S / July 11, 2011 at 11:13 am
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I am not sure why all TTC related articleswould would only mention paid Apps!
I think blogTo readers have the right to find out about free Apps as well.
RocketMan is free and provides streetcar/bus real time location as well as arrival time.

http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/rocket-man-ttc-streetcar-schedules/id421781409?mt=8
S / July 11, 2011 at 11:16 am
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Just curious here,
Do you guys get paid by these apps or what? There are already free apps out there and you never report on them?
Jym replying to a comment from Joseph / July 19, 2011 at 07:26 pm
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=v= Google Maps is great, but it mostly has schedules. A few cities have predictions of a sort, but they're not NextBus yet.

If you go the other way around, though, NextBus does provide a Google Map with your bus plotted on it.

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