Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New Features You Might Have Missed

In addition to many of the big changes to OneBusAway from last weekend, there were a couple of small new features that I wanted to mention that will hopefully make OneBusAway work even better for you:

Arrival Alerts

I have a common problem where I check my stop from my computer, see it's coming in 10 minutes, and figure "Oh I've got five minutes to check my email before I need to leave." I then proceed to get distracted and forget to check again until the bus is almost here and I end up sprinting to the stop. It's a vicious cycle.

To help break the cycle, we've introduced simple arrival alerts. To activate an alert, browse to your stop page as you normally would (note that this feature only works in OneBusAway's standard web interface):

Arrival Alerts - How to Access

Click on the minutes-until-arrival for a particular trip and you'll bring up an arrivals alert page for that trip:

Arrival Alerts

You can set an alert to go off a certain number of minutes before the bus is predicted to arrive, either playing a sound or popping up an alert. Just leave the browser window open in the background while you user your computer, and you'll get an alert when it's time to go catch your bus.

Multi-Stop Views and Route Filtering

For some riders, there is often more than one bus that can get you to your destination. If the buses pick up at different stops, you can check each stop individually in OneBusAway to see which bus is coming next, but wouldn't it be nice to see both stops in one combined view with just the routes you care about? Now you can.

If you click on the new "See multiple stops and filter routes" button at the bottom of any standard web interface real-time arrival stop page, you'll bring up a screen where you can select multiple stops and filter which routes you'd like to see:

Stop and Route Selection

You can add and remove stops and pick just the routes you want to see. This can be particularly useful for busy stops that have lots of routes where you only care about one or two. When you have everything the way you like it, click "Click to view your custom stop view" and you'll be taken to a customized stop view that you can bookmark for easy access in the future.

SMS Bookmarks

Users of the OneBusAway phone system have long had the ability to bookmark stops for quicker access in the future. We've now added that feature to the SMS interface as well. This means you don't have to remember long stop numbers any more. Also note that these bookmarks are synced with your phone bookmarks as well.

For more details, check out the SMS page.

That's All for Now

We hope you find these new features useful. As always, let us know if you run into any issues.

1 comment:

v said...

Hey in the multi stop feature (which is amazing), it would be useful to have the stop ID or a cue to the stop with each bus. i.e. user should know which bus is arriving where!
I have a situation where I choose more than one stops along the same route, since one is closer to my place but the other has more routes etc. So it'd be useful!