February 27, 2017 at 10:19 pm #56242
On Monday, thre 27th, we waited over an hour and could not get up to date information about #26X bus going North to Greenlake. This was between 3PM and 4:20 PM. about the time of the lightning/thunder strike. Buses came by going South, but none came going North. We called 553-3000 operators who gave us arrival times, but no bus came. One Bus Away gave times that tallied with the bus schedule but were not accurate. We were cold, wet and getting wetter and wondered what other source of information we could contact. We gave up waiting. Back home there were no e-mail or on-line Metro alerts.
Tonight I tried contacting Metro comment /questions. My query was not accepted because I could not fill in a bus #.
Does anyone know what other sources of information we could have used to find out when or if the 26X would come?February 27, 2017 at 10:28 pm #56243
If you are a non-smart phone owner like myself but you still have a cell phone, I’ve got great news for you. You can text Metro and receive a text back with when the bus is due to come. There are bus stop codes at each stop. See this:
Everyone else with smartphones uses the One Bus Away app.February 28, 2017 at 8:06 am #56244
I had success from calling customer service a day after a major bus mess up. I asked what happened so I couls know. I was very polite. The first person would not tell me anything so I tried Facebook message… which answered me.February 28, 2017 at 8:19 am #56245
I would imagine it just had something to do with the vast traffic apocalypse happening to the south of us yesterday. One Bus Away usually does a good job with the 26x.February 28, 2017 at 10:06 am #56247
As in my post – One Bus Away was used by the person waiting with me. The only information on that site was the time given in our printed bus schedules. We tried both sources of information several times while we waited. One Bus Away is usually accurate. Not yesterday.
Not sure why the text info would be different form that available to phone operators but will try that next time. Bus stop codes not available at bus stops that do not have a bus schedule posted there.February 28, 2017 at 10:43 am #56248
Right, my point is that it usually does a good job. As do the operators/automated systems when you call.
But with the level of traffic nightmare that we were all experiencing throughout the region, people/systems who can normally help are likely overwhelmed and ineffective.
On a normal—or even heavier than normal—traffic day any one of the methods you tried would likely provide all the info you’d need.March 1, 2017 at 7:11 am #56256
A printed schedule would do, under normal circumstances. I thought One Bus Away used GPS data about the bus’ whereabouts that would make it an improvement over a printed schedule – but it’s starting to sound like I was wrong about that? I’ve never used it myself – not because my phone lacks intelligence, but I don’t buy “data” service. I will have to try the text option, but as it’s only good for intermittent reports, it won’t be as fun. With app, you can watch the phantom buses not arrive in real time, more entertaining I guess.
A 2013 Crosscut article chalks that problem up to confusion in the logic, when the bus arrives at the end of its route, and Metro isn’t paying the German software contractor until it’s fixed. http://crosscut.com/2013/05/downey-one-bus-away/March 1, 2017 at 10:14 am #56257
@donn: My understanding is that GPS data is only available where the actual stops can pick up on the bus transponders, so it’s a mix of realtime and predictive data.March 1, 2017 at 11:21 am #56258
I had a conversation with a problem solver at Metro. He researched the particular situation and called back as information was available. There was a bus malfunction and some 26 X buses were 55 minutes late.
This does not answer the question of why Metro phone operators and One Bus Away did not have information about the delays.April 16, 2017 at 1:21 pm #56680
I’ve used One Bus Away for awhile with great success, until recently; it’s now extremely unreliable/inaccurate to the point of being useless (says the #31 is 2 blocks away and will arrive in 15 minutes (??) – but I wait for 20 minutes and it doesn’t show).
I’ve contacted OBA several times with no response; heard recently that’s now owned by Sound Transit. I contacted them also, with no response.
Might explain a lot.
On the other hand, Metro’s bus schedules are only a vague suggestion; wonder how much they spend to print those fictional schedules?
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