Category Archives: NexTrip

NexTrip surpasses 1 million views milestone

Omnitrans NexTrip Customer

Real time bus arrival prediction technology embraced by transit riders

(San Bernardino, CA) Omnitrans’ customers accessed NexTrip real time bus arrival information over 1 million times in the first year. Since the agency introduced the new technology in mid-January 2013, NexTrip has revolutionized the way people connect to public transit in the San Bernardino Valley.

 

With the NexTrip system, Omnitrans passengers can request next bus arrival information through phone, text, Web or apps.  Online, customers can view buses and stops on a route map with real-time tracking. They even can sign up for automatic alerts that will notify them when the bus is five minutes away.

“Rider response to NexTrip has been tremendous,” says Omnitrans Director of Marketing Wendy Williams. “It saves customers valuable time.  Because they know when the bus will arrive, they don’t have to arrive extra early at their stop.”

Omnitrans is installing Nextrip real time bus arrival information signs at every bus stop

NexTrip signs to be installed at each stop feature instructions on how to access real time bus arrival info by phone, text, web or scannable QR code.

Taking the technology to a new level, Omnitrans is installing signs at all 2,500 bus stops that feature a QR code. Passengers with smart devices can instantaneously access bus arrival times simply by scanning the code. Signs also provide instructions to access NexTrip by phone, text or online with a smart device.

The NexTrip system uses Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking satellites and advanced computer modeling developed by Nextbus, Inc. of Emeryville, California to provide accurate arrival information for all bus stops in the Omnitrans fixed route bus system. Taking into account the actual location of the buses, their intended stops, and the typical traffic patterns, NexTrip estimates arrivals with a high degree of accuracy. This information is then sent to the rider within seconds.

 For more information go to: www.omnitrans.org/nextrip

– Wendy Williams, Omnitrans Director of Marketing
Wendy.Williams@omnitrans.org

Omnitrans Stops & Stations Update

Work on our bus shelter rehabilitation project is well underway. Shelters for Routes 19, 8, 9, 308, 309, 310 & 14 have  been completed, and we are working our way through the remaining routes. Later this month, we will begin replacing old trash receptacles with new ones and begin the installation of new roof panels.

Eighty new solar panel illuminations lights will be placed in shelters that are tied to city/meter power, eliminating those electric bills. New NexTrip signs featuring next bus arrival information for each stop will be installed along with rebranded bus stop signs beginning later this month. See a sample below.

NexTrip signs to be installed at each stop feature 3 different methods passengers can use to access Omnitrans real time bus arrival information

New Omnitrans app available for Android

What if you could have the Omnitrans website, store, Bus Book, blog stories, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr photos AND NexTrip all rolled into one on your mobile device? Now you can with our new Omnitrans app.

Also featured  are the no service holidays and the customer service number. Everything you need is right at your fingertips.

The Omnitrans app is available now in Google Play for Android-based phones. Interested in an iPhone version? Look for it to arrive later this month in the iTunes store. We also hope to have it released as a Kindle app soon!

How to set up route alerts in NexTrip

Did you know that you can set up NexTrip to notify you by text message or email about service disruptions, outages or anything that affects your route? Below is a step-by-step tutorial to guide you through the process. Click on any of the screenshots below to view full size.

From the Omnitrans website at www.omnitrans.org, click the click here link under NexTrip in the right hand column.

 

A window will open to the NexTrip welcome page.

In the right hand column under NexTrip, click the NexTrip Alerts link.

A window will open to the NextBus Automatic Alerts page, prompting you to log in. 

If this is your first time visiting the NextBus site, you will need to create a new login. 

Complete the form then click Create a new login.

A window will open to the NextBus Automatic Alerts welcome page.

The page outlines the three types of alerts you can set with Next Bus:

  • Immediate Alerts
  • Scheduled Alerts
  • Watch Route Alerts

Because you want to receive alerts on service disruptions to your routes, you will focus on Watch Route Alerts.

Click Add New Watch Route Alert to create your alert.

A window will open where you can select your preferred notification method and the route for which you would like to receive alerts. 

IMPORTANT:

  • If you prefer to receive alerts by EMAIL, click here.
  • If you prefer to receive alerts by TEXT MESSAGE, click here.


TO RECEIVE ALERTS BY EMAIL

From the Automatic Alerts page, click the Email button under Channel options to receive alerts by email.

Under Region, select California-Southern from the drop down menu.

Under Agency, select Omnitrans from the drop down menu.

Under Route, select the route for which you want to receive alert notifications.  (If you want to receive alerts for more than one route, you will need to create separate alerts for each one.)

Click the Add Route button.

A window will open, returning you to the Automatic Alerts page.

The alert you have created will now be listed in the Watch Route Alerts section.

If at any time you no longer wish to receive an alert, simply click the delete option next to the alert.

Once you have added an alert, you will be notified whenever a service disruption takes effect. Below is an example of an email alert notification received through NextBus.


TO RECEIVE ALERTS BY TEXT MESSAGE

From the Automatic Alerts page, click Setup SMS under Channel options. (Note that you will not be able to select the SMS option until you setup your SMS for the first time.)

The Automatic Alerts phone verification window will open. 

Enter your mobile phone number, including area code, into the box and click Submit.

A second Automatic Alerts phone verification page will open, this time featuring your SMS shortcode. The shortcode is the line of bold text beginning with “nbus reg” (see circled area below.)

 

From your mobile phone, send the shortcode as a text message to phone number 41411. Your carrier’s standard messaging rates will apply.

Note that if this is your first time texting to NextBus, additional verification messages may appear.

The verification reminds you that although NextBus does not charge you for messaging, your standard carrier messaging rates will still apply. See sample below

Messaging would like to send a message to 41411.
This may cause charges on your mobile account.
____   Remember my choice.
Never Allow      Always Allow

Check the box next to Remember my choice, then click Always Allow.

From your computer or smart device, return to the Automatic Alert page at http://www.nextbus.com/myNextBus/addRoute.shtml

You will now be able to click the SMS button under Channel.

Under Region, select California-Southern from the drop down menu.

Under Agency, select Omnitrans from the drop down menu.

Under Route, select the route for which you want to receive alert notifications.  (If you want to receive alerts for more than one route, you will need to create separate alerts for each one.)

Click the Add Route button.

The Automatic Alerts welcome page will open.

The route alert that you created will now appear under Watch Route Alert.

A text message will automatically be sent your mobile phone whenever there is a disruption of service on that route.

Should you no longer wish to receive alert notifications for a route, simply click delete next to the route you would like to remove.

 

One year plus on the bus

I travel Route 22 almost every day. Since I’m a freelance writer, I like to take the bus down Riverside Drive in Rialto to the local Starbucks, which I call “my office,” to write. And what’s so nice about taking the same bus a lot is getting to know the drivers and some of the other passengers. Plus, I get to relax when I travel. No more honking at the driver in front of you because he doesn’t move when the light turns green, or shaking a fist at the driver who turns in front of you. I just relax and let the bus driver handle it! 

Since March 2012, I’ve been riding Omnitrans all over the Inland Empire and sometimes connecting to Foothill transit or Metro into the San Gabriel Valley.  Although I gave up my car unwillingly–thanks to an early morning drive on the 210 freeway in which sleepiness and the center divider got the better of the me–I’ve learned that, not only can I get wherever I need to go on the bus, but I enjoy it!

There are three drivers on that route whom I’ve talked to a bit, and they are always so pleasant.  Pete always greets me with a ‘hello’.  I haven’t been bold enough to ask the names of the other two, but we do joke around a little when I get on or off.  It’s nice to see an amiable face when I travel.  I always try to smile and say hello so that just maybe I can bring a little brightness to their day.

I know from personal observation that the Omnitrans drivers have an often stressful job dealing with the public.  I’ve seen a few situations where the driver is asked a question while they are driving, and they can’t answer fully because they have to pay attention to maneuvering that big bus in traffic.  Passengers don’t always understand, and some can get a bit offended.  But I’ve never seen a driver lose his or her cool.  They’ve always acted with tact and professionalism.

A few times in the last year I’ve had to range a bit farther afield in my bus travels.  It can be nerve-racking when you’ve never been somewhere before, and you’re not sure which way the bus goes, what times it arrives or leaves, or at which stop to get off.  But I’ve got the Omnitrans phone number stored in my call-list on my cell phone, and the agents always answer promptly and can direct me where I need to go.  The online maps and schedules have helped a lot too when I’ve had time to plan my trip ahead.

What I really like is the NexTrip information.  It’s nice to know when I have time to take out my glasses and read at the stop before the bus comes, and when I have to put them away to get out my bus pass!  Plus, before NexTrip started, I had many times when I’d leave my house for the bus stop, and either just miss it or get there way too early.  Now I can check NexTrip online before I leave so that I know exactly when to leave to catch the next bus.  So far, it’s always been extremely accurate.

I highly recommend Omnitrans.  It’s a great way to travel!

– Lynette Ranger, Omnitrans Passenger
lynetteranger@ramblingranger.com

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LLU Employee loves public transit

Carmen Fernandez at the May 2 Loma Linda University Employee Benefits Fair

Carmen Fernandez can’t wait for the start of passenger service of the first sbX corridor, so she can have lunch more with her sister.

The Colton resident, a nine-year photographer for Educational Support Services at Loma Linda University’s School of Dentistry, currently uses Omnitrans Route 2 once a week to meet her sibling, who works at Sam’s Club in San Bernardino near the popular rows of restaurants on Harriman Place and Hospitality Lane.

She also takes routes 8 and 9 to visit her parents and get to her acupuncture therapy sessions in Redlands; and routes 19 and 325 to get between home and work. She has a car but chooses to use public transit because she shares the car with her daughter, a boxer who trains at a gym in Reche Canyon.

“I choose to do it,” Fernandez said of bus riding. “Three miles is a little too far to walk, and I could park free in two of the lots. It’s convenient, so why not?”

She also takes advantage of her employer’s rideshare incentive, which allows her to purchase a $47 monthly pass for $22.

Carmen, a native of Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, sees bus service with Omnitrans as less frequent but more reliable. “I consider bus riding a game, which makes it fun for me,” she said, “especially with NexTrip. It’s more precise than relying on the Bus Book. That makes it fun. I think most people who don’t use the bus think it’s boring. The drivers who know me stop if they see me and I’m running a little behind. It’s exciting.”

–David Rutherford
david.rutherford@omnitrans.org

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Early Adopter, Now A NexTrip Advocate

When NexTrip was launched at the end of January, Catherine was one of the first ones to take advantage of the new technology. She was an instant fan.

“I know when the bus is actually coming without needing to memorize a schedule. No longer do I wonder if I’ll miss my bus if I use the restroom.  I can set alerts on my phone for the bus near my home and stay in my air conditioning until the last minute instead of baking in the summer heat.”

Since then, she’s passed the experience on to many of her fellow riders. “Every chance I get, I help others learn about NexTrip, often breaking the ice by telling them exactly how many minutes until their bus arrives. Once, to test its accuracy, I set an alert for 1 minute. The bus arrived about a minute after the alert came to my phone. In a nutshell, I never worry about when the bus will show up as long as I have my cell. I KNOW! Thanks for implementing NexTrip.”

Although she has had a driver’s license since she was 18, Catherine has never owned or had regular access to a car, and taxicabs just aren’t cost-effective for her budget. “If Omnitrans was not an effective tool for transportation for all my non-emergency needs, I would have moved somewhere with better public transit years ago,” she says frankly.

As a regular rider, Catherine hopes to eventually see Omnitrans offer extended weekend coverage. As a Colton resident, it would allow her the freedom to enjoy more events and attend late evening services at her church of choice in Redlands. In the meantime, she is enjoying her new found flexibility with our NexTrip real-time bus prediction system.

–Juno Kughler Carlson

Try NexTrip for yourself.
Get real time arrival information via text message, online or by phone!

Do you like this story and want to use it for your blog or newsletter? All our stories may be freely reposted and shared with others!

Do you have a great Omnitrans story to share? Let us know!
Email juno.carlson@omnitrans.org