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 Post subject: Metro Bus Hacking
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:19 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:52 am
Posts: 11
No, not hacking into the buses, but hacking better access to bus schedule info:

Greg Tracy has constructed an excellent API to access information about the Madison Metro bus system, including access to GPS-based real-time arrival information (http://www.smsmybus.com/).

I've built a web-app that uses Greg's API to fetch real-time arrival info for a given stop and return it in a smart-phone-friendly format (though it also works fine in any regular browser as well).

In addition, I've worked out how to make a QR-code that calls my web-app: just point your smartphone's QR-reading app (there's lots of them out there) at the QR code and up comes the next N buses arriving at that stop, with real-time predicted arrival times.

My plan/hope is to find a way to deploy QR codes at bus stops, so people standing at a stop can know how long until the next bus actually arrives. And having done it once at a particular stop, they can bookmark the result and re-use it in the future, while still at home or in their office. Hopefully this would save people a lot of cold minutes standing at stops in the winter and some missed buses year-around...

So one could stick pre-printed post-it notes on bus stops:

Attachment:
qr bus code.jpg
qr bus code.jpg [ 46.69 KiB | Viewed 3203 times ]


Scanning this with your smartphone would return a page like this:

Attachment:
bus info .jpg
bus info .jpg [ 87.19 KiB | Viewed 3203 times ]


My next step is to contact Madison Metro's IT department to discuss a test deployment (seeking to avoid being considered graffiti or vandalism!). If they are amenable, I'll be looking for some volunteers to help create the post-its, deploy them en mass some day, and generate some pre-deployment publicity. Long-term, I'd like to get Metro to just print the QR codes on the paper schedules they post at many stops or make water-proof labels to put on sign posts at all stops...

Larry Walker (& Carol Bracewell, who came up with the QR post-it concept!)


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 Post subject: Re: Metro Bus Hacking
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:33 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:05 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Jenifer St, Madison, WI
Great idea! I would be interested in helping you deploy the post-its when the time comes.


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 Post subject: Re: Metro Bus Hacking
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:33 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:26 pm
Posts: 3
I would also help with that...great idea


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 Post subject: Re: Metro Bus Hacking
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:43 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:39 pm
Posts: 1
There is an android app called BusRadar:
http://busradarapp.com/
It uses GPS to find nearest bus stops and when the next bus will be arriving.


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 Post subject: Re: Metro Bus Hacking
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:32 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:52 am
Posts: 11
Quick update: I met with Metro staff a couple of weeks ago; they are VERY interested in doing a pilot of QR codes on bus stops. Currently waiting for them to get back to me with a proposal for what/when/how; will send something to the S67 mailing list as soon as I know more...

Larry


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 Post subject: Re: Metro Bus Hacking
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:24 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:57 am
Posts: 4
Very cool. Keep up the good work.


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 Post subject: Re: Metro Bus Hacking
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:17 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:21 pm
Posts: 1
If they are amenable, I'll be looking for some volunteers to help create the post-its, deploy them en mass some day, and generate some pre-deployment publicity. Long-term, I'd like to get Metro to just print the QR codes on the paper schedules they post at many stops or make water-proof labels to put on sign posts at all stops...

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GuL


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