Monday, November 22, 2010

The Snow Came Too Soon

I know of a lot of you are probably frustrated that OneBusAway is pretty much useless (no real-time, no snow reroute info) on a day when you need it most. I'm pretty frustrated too, if only because I have been working with King County Metro and other agencies over the past couple of months to try to get adverse weather reroute information into OneBusAway.

The good news is that we are making a lot of progress, but the bad and somewhat obvious news is that I didn't finish in time.

Of course, you could argue that I've had two years to prep for this, but we've only recently had time and resources to work on service alert information in OneBusAway. And the lack of gps-based tracking for King County Metro buses is always going to be a problem.

All I can say is that I'm working hard to be ready for the next storm. And to prove that this is not just a vapor-ware promise, here is what you have to look forward too:

(Fast forward to 0:35 seconds in for the good stuff. And don't worry, everyone without an iPhone we're still thinking about you too).


suomynona said...

My only suggestion would be to have this notice show on pages with a link to your blog entry explaining why the site isn't working right now. Like a dummy, I stood at 4th & Pike for a long time waiting for the 24 and 33 to come so I could go home -- not knowing that the site wasn't working until I did a search on Twitter.

Now I'm following @onebusaway on Twitter and know this, but I can't help but wonder how many other semi-intelligent people like myself are standing at bus stops around the city wondering why their bus isn't coming when their onebusaway app says it is... :)

P.S. Thank you otherwise for the service. It is the #1 reason I have an iPhone.

Brian Ferris said...

@suomynona - unfortunately, I can't push updates like that to the iPhone app. Once the service alert functionality it deployed, I will be able to do things like that, but until then...

suomynona said...

That makes sense. Thanks Brian :)

DarkHawke said...

@suomynona: How long have you been using One Bus Away? Whenever I see the "scheduled arrival" notation, I know that for whatever reason the bus in question isn't being tracked, so I should get to my stop in time for the scheduled arrival, i.e. I'm reduced to being a normal commuter. You may have never used Metro's own on-line tracker, the data from which powers One Bus Away, but they state up front that ANY reroutes from normal service (even for Mariners games) invalidates the system. Sucks that Metro's data is so unreliable at so vital a time, but there's your government "in-action".

Mark said...

Thanks for all your work, Brian - OneBusAway is great. And hopefully will be great soon in adverse conditions as well.