Nextrip website undergoing upgrades; impacting service

Here’s the news from Metro’s tech team about NexTrip:

Metro is currently upgrading its bus fleet management system (ATMS) on all of its fleet vehicles. Nextrip bus arrival service is temporarily affected during the transition, the Nextrip system is currently providing arrival predictions based on scheduled information (vs. real-time location information). Metro is working to complete the transition as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Many of you have noticed this problem over the past couple of days. Hopefully it will be up and running soon. In the meantime, the service is either providing no updates or proving arrival times based on the schedule.

@metroLAelevator – New Twitter feed for elevator service alerts

You’ve requested it and we’re listening – Metro has added an additional Twitter feed for service updates addressing elevator service alerts. @metroLAelevator will be reserved for announcing elevator outages — and when they’re back in service. Along with @metroLAalerts, these two Twitter feeds are a great resource for customers with mobile devices or online access. In fact, here’s the first tweet:

Both Twitter feeds are maintained by Stephen Tu, Transportation Planner, in the Executive Office of Operations. You may recognize his initials at the end of most tweets: ^ST.

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Update available for Go Metro Los Angeles app for smartphones

The update was posted earlier this week to the iTunes store. Here are the links for the iPhone app, the iPad app and the Android app.

Here’s a rundown of the revisions:

iPhone/iPad

•Compatible with iOS6
•Schedule data is updated
•New iPad-centric user interface
•Minor bug fixes

Android

•Schedule data is updated

Also, I wanted to help explain one screen that users may find confusing when using the map to determine when the next train is leaving. For example, let’s say you use the map function to determine you’re at Union Station and you want to find what time the next few Gold Line trains are leaving. The app shows you this screen:

The easiest way to understand this is pay attention to the station mentioned in each line. In the first line above, the app is you telling that a Sierra Madre Villa-bound train is arriving at Union Station at 1:01 p.m.

The second line is confusing because there is a train arriving at Union Station at 7:52 p.m. — but it’s headed out of service, thus the reason there’s no ultimate destination. That’s a programming glitch that is being fixed.

The third line is telling you that a train bound for Atlantic Station is arriving at Union Station at 1:04 p.m.

Another example for the Red/Purple Line subway from Union Station:

Above, ignore the first and third lines — they’re only telling you what times that Red Line and Purple Line trains are arriving at Union Station. The information you probably want is when trains are leaving Union Station! That’s in the second line — showing the next train to North Hollywood at 1:22 p.m.  For the Purple Line, the info is in the fourth line, which shows the next train bound for Wilshire/Western leaving at 1:17 p.m.

Finally, how do you like the Go Metro app? Any suggestions? Comment please.

New Apple iPhone and software to transit users: get a car!

We’ve known for several months this was coming: the operating system that runs the most recent iPhones and iPads (known as ios6) has been updated with a new maps application. Gone are Google Maps and public transit directions, replaced with a map app by Apple that kicks public transit to the curb, so to speak.

What happens in ios6 when you ask for directions using transit in Apple’s maps? You’re referred to a list of apps in the Apple store that may or may not have anything to do with transit directions in the part of the world where you live.

Sigh. Welcome to the “biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone!”

The photo above is Apple headquarters in Cupertino and its voluminous parking lots. Perhaps it’s not a stretch to suggest that transit directions are gone from the native map app in iPhones because a:) it takes a lot of time, effort and money to collect all the data from transit agencies and crunch it into useable software, as Google did, and; b) it doesn’t look like too worker/programming bees are taking transit to work at Apple HQ.

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Tech issues on metro.net today

As some of you may have seen by now, metro.net is having problems this afternoon and, to be perfectly blunt, isn't working. I think The Source is okay as long as people access the blog directly and don't go through the Metro website.

 

The tech team here at Metro HQ is working on it and hopefully everything will be back in working order soon. The agency apologizes for any inconvenience.


Caltrans announces QuickMap, new online tool for real-time travel and traffic information

I like the ability to quickly see freeway information signs. Here’s the news release from Caltrans:

SACRAMENTO – Caltrans today announced it has launched Caltrans QuickMap, an
online service that provides California motorists with real-time traffic
and travel information that will allow them to make better decisions about
how to reach their destination more rapidly.

To access Caltrans QuickMap, visit the Caltrans site at quickmap.dot.ca.gov
.

“A wide range of useful information is now easily accessible to help
motorists avoid congestion and reduce their travel times,” said Caltrans
Director Malcolm Dougherty. “This exciting innovation delivers real-time
data so travelers can adjust their routes to get where they’re going as
quickly as possible.”

Visitors to the online interactive travel map can access nearly 1,000
freeway cameras and more than 700 electronic message signs on highways
statewide. They can also monitor traffic congestion, California Highway
Patrol incidents, travel time information, lane closures due to highway
roadwork, and Amber Alerts. Other helpful features of the service include
chain control information and color-coded traffic speed displays for
freeways statewide.

Go Metro Mobile App Update for iPhone and Android – Download Now!

A new version of Metro’s mobile app for iPhones and Androids is available for download! Go Metro Los Angeles v2.2 is a significant update with new features and technical upgrades. Some of the new features are described below.

Download from App Store Now
Download from Google Play Now

Android & iPhone

Go Metro v2.2 for iPhone

Go Metro v2.2 for iPhone

  • Mode specific icons for Bus and Rail
    Now when you click the Nearby feature, you’ll see separate graphic icons denoting Bus Stops vs Rail Stations.
  • “Refresh” arrival times for Bus Stops
    Let’s say you’ve favorited your most used Bus Stops (by clicking the Start button in the toolbar). Now by clicking the ‘Refresh’ button, revised Nextrip arrivals times will display on command.
  • Station amenities for Rail Stations
    There is a new button in the Rail Stations screens that will display detailed information about a station, including the number of bike lockers, bike racks, free parking spots and paid parking spots.
  • Save a Trip Planner itinerary and view offline
    Now when you save an itinerary, you’ve saved it offline onto the device and may view it without internet connection. This is useful if you are traveling in our Rail system or when internet connection has dropped.
  • User Interface updates for all versions
    Small user interface updates to make the app more pretty and consistent in the News and More screen :)

Android Only

  • When installing the app, Android customers can choose to save the app on a SD Card rather than the device
    The app is not huge, per se, but the scheduling data that supports the app is. This feature is a response to customers who have older Androids (or devices with tons of apps) that were filling up memory-wise and this option allows the customers to decide where they want to install the app.

iPhone Only

  • View Stops / Stations nearby me on a map or a list
    A feature already in the Android version, a new button allows you to view the closest Metro stops/stations visually on a map or a text list. Some customers are accustomed to viewing a map, some customers appreciate a list.

Check out some screen grabs after the jump!