New CTA Bus Tracker Feature Expands Arrival Information to More Customers

May 11, 2009

E-mail feature and remaining 20 routes to be activated on May 18

 
Chicago Transit Authority President Richard L. Rodriguez today introduced a new feature that will make it easier for more customers to access bus arrival information from the popular CTA Bus Tracker Web site. Bus Tracker is a Web-based program that uses global positioning system (GPS) technology to provide customers with estimated bus arrival times and service information.
 
Beginning Monday, May 18, CTA customers can sign up to receive customized scheduled e-mails that will provide estimated times for the next buses arriving at a customer’s preferred bus stop(s). Information can be sent to both a customer’s e-mail address and mobile device as a text message.
 
“Bus Tracker has proved to be a valuable everyday tool for customers with computers or Web-enabled mobile devices,” said Rodriguez. “With this latest feature, the benefits of Bus Tracker will be accessible to a greater number of customers – further improving their travel experience on the CTA.”
 
Customers can receive estimated arrival times and/or general service alerts via text* and multiple e-mail addresses by registering at the CTA Bus Tracker Web site (www.ctabustracker.com). To accommodate customers’ varying schedules, e-mail subscriptions can be created for various bus route(s), bus stop location(s) and directions of travel. In addition, the alerts also can be customized to be sent within a designated timeframe, at intervals from five to 30 minutes, and on any day of the week.
 
Also announced today were the remaining 20 regularly scheduled bus routes that will be activated on the Bus Tracker Web site on May 18. Routes new to Bus Tracker are:
 
#26 South Shore Express
#33 Mag Mile Express
#120 Ogilvie/Wacker Express
#121 Union/Wacker Express
#122 Illinois Center/Ogilvie Express
#130 Grant Park Treasures
#132 Goose Island Express
#134 Stockton/LaSalle Express
#168 UIC-Pilsen Express
#169 69th/UPS Express
#170 U. of Chicago/Midway
#171 U. of Chicago/Hyde Park
#172 U. of Chicago/Kenwood
#173 U. of Chicago/Lakeview Express
#174 U. of Chicago/Garfield Stations
#192 U. of Chicago Hospitals Express
#200 Main Shuttle
#201 Central/ Ridge
#205 Chicago/ Golf
#206 Evanston Circulator
 
Four bus routes that have limited operation, are not part of CTA’s regularly scheduled services or run for special events only – the #19 United Center Express, #X98 Avon Express, #128 Soldier Field Express and #154 Wrigley Field Express – will not be added to the Bus Tracker Web site, but will be considered as future additions.
 
This summer, CTA will test another new Bus Tracker feature in a pilot that will allow two-way texting for customers on-the-go. Bus stops in the pilot will feature a unique identification number that customers include in a text message to a designated number. In return, customers will receive the estimated arrival times of the next four buses for that stop.
 
The CTA Bus Tracker Web site is accessible from computers and Web-enabled mobile devices for customers to view the arrival times of buses along a route. BlackBerry™ users must have version 4.1 or higher. Personal digital assistants (PDAs) must have full Internet access capabilities through Web browsers that support HyperText Markup Language (HTML) such as Internet Explorer®. Customers who use PDAs are able to access the arrival time display only. Cell phone users should contact their wireless service providers for information on their phone's Internet capabilities.
 
*CTA does not charge customers to receive bus arrival alerts via text message; however, standard text messaging rates may apply.
 
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