On February 20 the LTC is launching a new website and digital tools for riders. The common thread with their new digital presence is that they’ve made it easy to personalize so you’re getting the information you need when you need it. InfoWeb is going to improve the transit experience for riders from the start of your trip to the end.
Here are five of the coolest things you can do with it:
1. GET THE INFO YOU NEED DELIVERED TO YOU
Up until now, you’ve had to check in online to find out about detours or service changes. Now you can sign up to receive email alerts about both planned and unexpected interruptions on the bus routes or individual stops you choose. The LTC is also investigating the possibility of adding SMS alerts so stay tuned for even more options for alerts down the road. No more surprises when the bus doesn’t come to your stop or doesn’t end up where you expected!
2. RECEIVE EMAILS WITH THE REAL BUS ARRIVAL TIMES
If you’re accustomed to checking WebWatch every day before heading out for the bus, you can have InfoWeb send you an email instead. You pick the stop, the time, and the days you want to receive it, and the LTC sends you an email with the upcoming live bus arrival times. As a nice bonus, the emails can do double-duty as a reminder to leave on time to pick up the kids or make it to your regular appointments.
Is your schedule a little less regular? You can set up several emails and customize them by time and day of the week. You can also easily suspend the emails for a set period. The LTC is investigating SMS for this service as well.
3. MAKE A PERSONALIZED SCHEDULE
Rather than carry around a paper schedule that gives you times for a bunch of stops you don’t use, and possibly none of the ones you do, you can create a personalized schedule. Choose as few or as many stops on the route as you like, pick the day and time of travel, and get a printable schedule made just for you.
Bonus for parents: if you have a youngster who’s riding with you or just starting to go it alone, you can print them their own schedules that just show the info they need.
4. FIND STOPS NEAR YOU... OR NEAR ANYTHING
If you find yourself in an unfamiliar part of the city, you can pop open the mobile InfoWeb site and hit a button to see every stop within 500 metres. Likewise, if you want to see your bus options for visiting somewhere, you can search for stops and routes near a landmark or address.
An easy-to-read legend tells you which routes they serve. If you want to see where those routes go, you can easily toggle them on and off of the map, too. You can also see arrival times for each of those buses all in one spot.
5. SEE MORE ABOUT THE BUSES
You’ll be able to see real-time bus locations on the map, and once you find the bus you’re looking for, you can also see whether it’s running on-time and perhaps coolest of all, how full it is. So if the Number 2 is jam-packed, you can choose to wait three minutes and get the 20 that’s sitting at only thirty percent full.
... you can also see whether the bus is running on-time and perhaps coolest of all, how full it is.
InfoWeb launches on February 20th, when the LTC will also switch to a more modern website that’s easier to navigate. Starting the same day, you can follow the LTC on Facebook for updates and news, and on Twitter for minute-to-minute updates and customer service during business hours.
Amanda Stratton is a London citizen who's passionate about building a multi-modal city with first-rate public transit. She's the founder of the London Transit Riders Alliance, which brings riders together to support, improve, and increase public transit use in London.
Special thanks to Patrick Cormier, Katie Burns, Caroline Roy and Kelly Paleczny of the London Transit Commission for their invaluable assistance in producing this blog.