SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente

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511 Launches New Real-Time Transit Tool

The Bay Area’s award-winning 511 traveler information system this week introduces its latest upgrade: a free, real-time web-based app known as 511 Transit TrackerSM that makes it easier than ever for transit riders to get current departure times for their favorite routes. Whether at home, in the office, or on the go, travelers can avoid missing the train or bus by using this tool to access a customized personal web page, and 511 Transit Tracker is accessible on and optimized for any internet-connected device, such as desktop computers, laptops, smart phones or tablets.

511 Transit Tracker currently supports routes on San Francisco Muni, BART, AC Transit, Caltrain, SamTrans, VTA, Dumbarton Express, Marin Transit, Napa VINE and WestCAT. Several more Bay Area transit agencies are slated to provide real-time information for the 511 Transit Tracker service in the months ahead.

The tool is especially convenient for anyone who uses multiple transit services. In a simple format, riders can organize all the agencies, routes and stops they use on a single web page and access it wherever and whenever they choose. Sometimes travelers have multiple options within a certain radius of their home or workplace. With 511 Transit Tracker, there’s no need to run multiple separate searches. 511 Transit Tracker aggregates all selected agencies and routes on a single, custom web page for easy comparison, allowing passengers to select the best options – whether catching the bus, jumping on light rail, or riding the train — during their trip.

Individual riders, employers and business owners can all use the same simple tool and customize it for their distinct purposes. For commuters, a single tap on a smartphone screen during breakfast will show if there’s time for another cup of coffee, or if they had better finish their meal. For employers, it’s easy to create a custom web page for their company intranet to provide employees with easy access to nearby departure information. For business owners, real-time departures from nearby transit stops can be displayed on a large screen to give customers extra time to shop, dine or relax without worrying about missing the next bus or train.

To create a personalized page, users select their favorite routes and stops among several Bay Area transit agencies that partner with 511 to provide real-time information. The tool generates a unique web address (URL) for that custom page, which can be bookmarked or emailed for display on Internet-connected devices, including desktop computers, laptops, smart phones, tablets and large screens. Once a custom page is generated, users can return any time to the same URL for their personalized list of real-time departure times.

To build a free 511 Transit Tracker custom page, visit: 511.org/transittracker.

About 511

511 is a one-stop phone and web source for up-to-the-minute Bay Area traffic, transit, rideshare, bicycling and parking information. It’s free of charge and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere in the nine-county Bay Area. Call 511 or visit 511.org. 511 is managed by a partnership of public agencies led by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the California Highway Patrol, public transit agencies and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

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