Cellphone/Smartphone Access

If your phone has Internet access you can access NextBus info simply by going to www.nextbus.com. The system will automatically determine that you are using a phone and will direct to you to an appropriate site specifically designed for cell phones. We highly recomme4d that you bookmark the page once you access the information for the stop that you are interested in. That way you will be able to much more easily access the information in the future.

If you are using a new type of SmartPhone that our system doesn't recognize you might be redirected to our slower full feature site instead of the cell phone site. If this happens try going to www.nextbus.com/mini.html instead.





Syntax

The 5-digit text message address is 41411. The syntax of the message is "nbus agency stop". The keyword "nbus" specifies that you want information from NextBus. For some agencies there is shortcut. For example, instead of specifying "nbus agency" for San Francisco Muni you can specify "nextmuni". The agency name is a short abreviation for the agency. For San Francisco Muni for example it is "nbus sf-muni". For some agencies there are alternative names. For example, you can substitute "sf" for "sf-muni".

What is the "Subscribed to" message?

When you send your first message to the NextBus system you will receive a reply indicating that you have subscribed to the system. This only means that you have subscribed to the possibility of the using the alert feature described below. The NextBus system will never send you other messages besides the arrival prediction information you have specifically requested.

Specifying a stop

There are four ways to specify your stop:

  1. Via Menus
    If you do not specify a stop (you simply specify a message such as "nbus emery") then you will be presented with a list of routes. You then specify which route you are interested in. You will then be presented with a list of directions and then a list of stops to select from. Once you have selected your stop, the corresponding predictions for that stop will be displayed. Note: this menu based way of selecting a stop is only intended for smaller agencies. For larger agencies there are most likely too many routes and stops to choose from easily, considering that SMS messages are limited to a small number of characters. For larger agencies we recommend that you specify a stop number or an address.

  2. Specifying a Stop Number:
    For some agencies each stop is identified by a stop number. If stop identifiers are available they are listed when the predictions are displayed on the main web page, as shown in the figure to the right. If your stop has a numeric stop id then you can simply use that id to obtain your arrival predictions. For example, if you want information for Emery-go-Round stop 5322 send to the address 41411 the text "nbus emery 5322". If numeric stop identifiers are not available for your transit agency then you must specify an address as described below.

  3. Specifying an Address:
    You can also enter an address or an intersection and predictions for the stops nearest the intersection. This is especially handy if you do not know the stop id or if stop ids have not been assigned for your agency. Only addresses and intersections can be used. Unfortunately you cannot specify many landmarks such as "city hall". Some landmarks work but others do not.

    So for example you can enter "nbus muni 7th&folsom" or "nbus muni 1351 Folsom". Because predictions for several routes can be returned, the resulting text is very terse and vowels are removed so that the resulting information can be provided in a single text message. If you get back the message "Sorry, but your location is no specific enough to locate a stop." or "Sorry, could not process request" it might be because you need to differentiate between an Avenue and a Street or between a street and a name of a neighborhood. So if you have trouble you might want to use something like "7th st & Folsom Ave" to be more specific.

    You will receive predictions for all routes that serve the nearby stops, but predictions for only a single route/direction/stop will be shown at a time. If you need information for a different route, direction, or stop you can page through the various route/direction/stops by replying with "N" to see the next one or "P" to see the previous one. When there are multiple roiute/direction/stops to choose from your instructions are shown at the bottom of the prediction text message, as illustrated in the picture on the right.

    You might get too many predictions if your stop is served by multiple routes. If you only want predictions for a particular route you can specify the route name following the letter "r". For example, to get the predictions just for the route 19 buses at 7th & Folsom you would send to the address 41411 the text "nbus muni r19 7th & folsom".

  4. Using a saved stop:
    Once you have selected a stop using one of the above methods, you can save the stop by replying with the command "s stopName", where "stopName" is the name of the stop you want to save. So for example you can specify "s work" to store a stop called "work". Then you can easily obtain predicted arrival times for the stop by texting the stop name. For example, if you stored the stop called "work", then you can easily access predictions for that stop simply by texting to 41411 "nbus work".

Setting up an alert for when bus is specified number of minutes away

An incredibly useful feature of the NextBus SMS system is that it can automatically send you an alert when your bus is a specified number of minutes away. This way you don't have to continually monitor the NextBus system to determine when it is time to catch your bus. To use this feature first select a stop using one of the three methods described above. Once you have selected a stop and predictions are displayed you can simply reply to the prediction message with the number of minutes of notice you want before your bus is going to arrive. You can specify an alert time of betwee 0 and 30 minutes. So for example you can first select a stop by sending to 41411 the message "emerybus 5300". Then reply with "5" to be alerted when your bus is 5 minutes away.

Useful commands

You can specify single letter commands.

Why the terse abreviations?

SMS is limited to just a few characters per message. Therefore the system uses abreviated names to tell you the names of routes, directions, and stops.

Determining your agency name

You can determine the proper agency name using the following table. For some agencies there are multiple names that will work. For example, for San Francisco Muni you can use "sf-muni" or "sf".

Agency
Name(s)
Alberta
  Bow Valley Regional Transit - Canmore/Banff bowvalley
  City of St. Albert stalbert
Arizona
  Yuma County Area Transit yuma
California-Northern
  AC Transit actransit , ac , act
  Dumbarton Express dumbarton
  Escalon eTrans escalon
  FAST fast
  Highland Hospital amc
  Kaiser Permanente - Roseville Riverside Medical Office Building kaiser-rose
  Kaiser Permanente San Francisco kaiser-sf
  Kaiser Permanente, Oakland Medical Center kaiser-oak
  Lawrence-Berkeley National Lab lbl
  Placer County Transit pct
  San Francisco Bay Ferry bawt
  San Francisco Muni sf-muni , sf , muni , frisco
  San Leandro LINKS links
  Sonoma County Transit sct
  Tahoe Truckee Area Regional Transit tahoe
  Tuolumne County Transit tuolumne
  Unitrans ASUCD/City of Davis unitrans
  University of California Berkeley ucb
  Vacaville City Coach vacaville
California-Southern
  Big Blue Bus bigbluebus
  Camarillo Area (CAT) camarillo , cam
  City of West Hollywood west-hollywood
  Foothill Transit foothill
  Glendale Beeline glendale
  Gold Coast Transit south-coast , sc
  Hollywood Burbank Airport burb-bhop
  Los Angeles Metro lametro , metro , nextrip
  Los Angeles Rail lametro-rail
  Moorpark Transit moorpark , moor
  Ojai Trolleys ojai
  Omnitrans omnitrans
  Palos Verdes Transit pvpta
  Simi Valley (SVT) simi-valley , simi
  Thousand Oaks Transit (TOT) thousand-oaks , to
  UCLA ucla
  Universal Studios Hollywood universal-hwd
  Valley Express valley-express
  Ventura Intercity (VCTC) vista
Colorado
  Denver International Airport - ABM Onsite Services dia
  Vail Transit vail
District of Columbia
  DC Circulator dc-circulator , dcc
  DC Streetcar dc-streetcar
Florida
  I-Ride Trolley Orlando i-ride
  Jacksonville Transportation Authority jtafla
  Nova Southeastern University nova-se
  Pensacola Beach (SRIA) sria
Georgia
  Atlanta Streetcar - Beta atlanta-sc
  Georgia State Campus georgia-state
  Georgia Tech Campus georgia-tech
Indiana
  Indianapolis International Airport indianapolis-air
Iowa
  CyRide cyride
Kentucky
  Western Kentucky University wku
Manitoba
  Selkirk Transit selkirk
Maryland
  APL jhu-apl
  Charm City Circulator charm-city
  NASA Goddard nasa-goddard
  Prince Georges County pgc
  Salisbury University salisbury
  University of Baltimore ubalt
  University of Maryland umd
Massachusetts
  Brockton Area Transit Authority brockton
  Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority ccrta
  EZRide - Charles River TMA charles-river
  Massachusetts Institute of Technology mit
Michigan
  M-1 Rail m-1rail
Mississippi
  City of Oxford oxford-ms
Nevada
  RTC RIDE, Reno reno
New Brunswick
  Saint John Transit stjohn
New Hampshire
  Plymouth State University psu
  University of New Hampshire - Wildcat Transit unh
New Jersey
  Kean University kean
  Montclair State University montclair
  Newark Liberty International Airport ewr
  Rutgers University rutgers
New York
  City College NYC ccny
  Downtown Connection da
  JFK International Airport jfk
  LaGuardia Airport Employee Shuttle laguardia
  LaGuardia Airport Shuttle lga
  Roosevelt Island roosevelt
  SUNY Purchase purchase
North Carolina
  AppalCART appcart
  Asheville Redefines Transit art
  Chapel Hill Transit chapel-hill
  East Carolina University ecu
  Elon University elon
  Greenville Area Transit great
  Vidant Medical Center vmc
  Western Carolina University CAT-TRAN wcu
  Winston-Salem winston-salem
Oregon
  Portland Streetcar portland-sc , portland
Pennsylvania
  Slippery Rock University slippery-rock , slip
Texas
  Arlington Trolley arlington
  Stephen F Austin State University sfasu
  Trinity Metro ft-worth
Virginia
  Fairfax (CUE) fairfax
  Radford Transit radford
Washington
  Seattle Streetcar seattle-sc , seattle
  Spokane International Airport geg