NextBus Help

About NextBus Predictions

Using This Site

Privacy Policy

Messages You May Encounter

Contact Information

NextBus, Inc.
2433 Mariner Square Loop, Suite 103
Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 652-1303 (tel)
(510) 652-0349 (fax)
info@NextBus.com

If you are a passenger you can send feedback or report problems to:
website@NextBus.com

If you work for the transit agency you can report problems to:
support@NextBus.com



About NextBus Predictions

How to use the system
Real-time arrival information from NextBus can be obtained from signs installed at transit stops, from computers with access to the World Wide Web, and from cellular telephones and other wireless devices.

To obtain information via the Web or from wireless devices, specify which stop you want information for. The information will then be automatically displayed and updated every few seconds.

You may add the page to your "Bookmarks" or "Favorites" so you can get back to it quickly.

Keep in mind:

How does it work?
NextBus uses Global Position Satellite (GPS) technology and advanced computer modeling to track buses and streetcars on their routes. Taking into account the actual position of the transit vehicles, their intended stops, and the typical traffic patterns, NextBus estimates the bus arrivals with a high degree of accuracy. This estimate is updated constantly as the vehicles are tracked.  The NextBus system is covered by U.S. Patents 6,006,159 and 6,374,176. The system is also produced under license from ArrivalStar, Inc. U.S. Patents 5,623,260; 6,411,891; 6,317,060; 6,415,207; 6,313,760 and 6,278,936.

How accurate are the predictions?
The accuracy of the predictions vary depending upon many factors including changes in traffic patterns, accidents, Internet traffic, etc. Therefore NextBus cannot specify a precise overall accuracy. In general though, the margin of error is less than one minute for predictions of five-minutes or less. For ten-minute predictions, the margin of error is less than two minutes. We have biased the predictions slightly early to avoid people missing buses. NextBus is confident that you will find the system accurate enough to be very helpful.

What are the benefits of the system?
The NextBus system puts the transit rider in control. Even when you know what the schedule is, there are any number of reasons that vehicles may not arrive when expected. Traffic variations, breakdowns, and the day-to-day problems faced by any transit company can delay or completely interrupt service.

By using the NextBus system to determine when the next vehicle is going to arrive, the rider doesn't need to wait an indeterminate amount of time at a possibly unpleasant or unsafe stop. Instead the rider can make an informed decision. If the vehicle will not be arriving for an extended period, the rider can go into a store, read the newspaper, or even take another mode of transportation.

The NextBus system also allows the user to obtain real time arrival information remotely. Riders can determine exactly when to leave home or the office in order to meet the bus -- virtually eliminating waiting time.

Why isn't it available for my bus?
Your transit agency needs to pay for the cost of the NextBus system. The number of agencies that provide NextBus predictions is rapidly growing but the technology is still relatively new. If you would like to have the service provided for your system, contact your transit agency and tell them what a benefit the NextBus system would provide for their passengers.

Why aren't predictions made for all vehicles?
Some transit agencies have not yet purchased the tracking devices for all of their vehicles. When untracked vehicles are run on a route, real-time arrival predictions cannot be made.

Who pays for this service?
The signs at the transit stops and the needed tracking hardware is paid for by the transit agencies. No costs are passed on to the users except for those wireless users who pay for access by the minute.

What future capabilities do you expect to provide?
In the near future we will provide predictions via additional wireless devices. We will also provide alerts that will notify you automatically via your computer or wireless device when the NextBus is within a specified distance. That way you will know exactly when to leave your home or office in order to catch the next bus.

What is your advertising policy?
NextBus has adopted a policy not to accept Internet advertising for certain classes of products that our transit partners and/or we would not view as socially responsible. Specifically excluded are sexually oriented advertising, tobacco advertising, advertising for fire arms, advertising for alcoholic beverages, and advertising intended to promote any illegal substances.

 

Using This Site

Can I bookmark predictions?
Bookmarks can be very helpful if you regularly obtain NextBus real-time arrival information for particular stops. Once you have selected a stop and predictions are being displayed, bookmark the predictions page. The bookmark will automatically remember the stop for which it should display predictions.

Why do I have to specify the "From Stop" and "To Stop"?
Sometimes there are multiple routes that go to where you want to go. The NextBus system can provide predictions for all possible routes that serve your stops, as long as you specify both the stop where you are boarding ("From Stop") and your destination stop ("To Stop"). Also, there are some routes that have multiple destinations. If your destination is only served by some of the vehicles for your route, then by selecting your destination only predictions for vehicles that actually are going where you need to go will be displayed. If only one route serves the stop where you are boarding and there not multiple destinations for your route, the "To Stop" selector will not have an effect and can be ignored.

Does the site offer access for the visually impaired?
The prediction display has been built and tested with screen-reading software.

How does the system remember the last stop I specified?
The NextBus system uses a browser cookie to keep track of the last stop for which real-time arrival information was obtained on your computer.

Do I need to have cookies enabled?
You can obtain real-time predictions even if cookies are disabled. Cookies are only used to remember the last stop for which you wanted predictions. So while this feature is not necessary, it can make it quicker for you to get your desired information.

Do I need to have JavaScript enabled?
You can still obtain real-time predictions even if you have JavaScript disabled. If JavaScript is not available or is turned off, you will automatically be directed to our non-JavaScript pages for specifying which transit stop you want predictions for. The interface will be somewhat different but you will still get exactly the same information.

Do I need to have Java enabled?
Java applets are only used for displaying real-time maps showing where the vehicles are on the desired route. If you have Java disabled, or are using a browser that cannot run applets, you will still be able to access all other features on the NextBus Website with the exception of route maps.

Why does the interface sometimes look different?
The website will look different depending on the browser you are using. Also, sometimes updates are made to the website in order to improve the user experience.

Both sites provide exactly the same prediction information. The only difference is in how you specify the stop for which you want prediction information.

Where do I find schedules?
A link to schedules is provided when possible. They are available on both the stop selector page and on the real-time predictions page.

Where do I find maps showing where the vehicles are?
When maps are available for a route, the are accessible from both the stop selector page and on the real-time predictions page.

Why doesn't the map application work?
The map application is a Java applet. If you don't have a Java compliant browser, or if you have Java turned off, you won't be able to view the maps.

Which browsers are supported?
The NextBus Website is supported on all Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer browsers. It is also supported on Opera and WebTV browsers. If you have problems with this site on your browser, please e-mail Website@NextBus.com.

How do I turn off the annoying clicking sound in Internet Explorer?
With some version of Internet Explorer, the system generates a clicking sound everytime a new page is loaded. This can be annoying because a new prediction is loaded at least once a minute. To turn off this clicking sound on a Microsoft Windows PC, open the system Control Panel and click on "Sounds and Multimedia". In the Sounds tab, look under the Windows Explorer section and click on "Start Navigation". Under Name:, you will probably see start.wav which is the clicking sound. Replace the text "start.wav" with "(None)" and hit OK.


NextBus Privacy Policy

Is my privacy protected?
NextBus does NOT track your identity. The system only keeps track of the last stop selected on your computer. If you choose, you can even eliminate this record by turning off the cookies for your browser. You will still be able to obtain predictions.

For cell phone, PDA, and SMS sites NextBus will only use any collected information for providing passenger information to you. NextBus will NOT use this information for any other purpose nor sell or distribute this information to any other organization.


Messages You May Encounter

"No current prediction"
No information is available at the moment. Check again in a few minutes; it is likely that a prediction will be available shortly.

Possible reasons for this message include:

"Please wait..."
Wait a few seconds, or reload the page.

"0 minutes"
A vehicle is at, or very near, your stop.