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The bus schedules, they are a-changin’

Now we make it obvious when your transit line is moving to a different schedule

February 15, 2022

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Every three-or-so months, your typical agency will adjust their transit schedule. Usually, they’re small tweaks here and there. However, in the covid era™ those tweaks can be quite dramatic: with wild swings in ridership, less farebox revenue, shifts in travel patterns, driver shortages, and inadequate government funding.

Because of these challenges, transit agencies have to revise their schedules more frequently. 

And the effects are increasingly noticeable.

As more of these changes go into effect, we want to make sure you’re better prepared — so we’ve made it obvious when a schedule change is expected to affect your daily commute.

Any time a transit agency uploads a change to its schedules, we reflect that change in our app. That’s been the case forever 💁‍♀️

But we wouldn’t make a big deal about it — we’d just show you the updated list of departures.

Well… now we’re making a big deal about it.

Get alerts when the schedule changes

Starting today when you tap on a line within Transit, we’ll show you upcoming schedule changes, like:

We’ll also show other changes too, like a transit line running extra trips to a sports game, or a bus with fewer trips when school goes on summer vacation.

We’re able to highlight these changes thanks to some new tools invented by our team, which lets us visualize them and summarize the effects in plain English.

The process is entirely automated: if there’s more than a 3% variation in your transit schedule, we’ll let you know.

Tap on a line, and you’ll be able to see schedule changes by the hour, day, or week.

You can also subscribe to service alerts for any line, and we’ll send you a push notification if the schedule changes.

Don’t see it in the app? We’re slowly rolling out our schedule change alert system to more and more cities. We’re testing it with certain partner cities, and giving early access to Transit Royale subscribers. We’ll be launching to all users and all cities in the coming months.

Spot those one-off cancellations​​

Because there’s a shortage of drivers, one-off cancellations are happening more often.

Moreover, Transit will show you trips that are spontaneously cancelled, even if those cancellations don’t appear in the schedule.

One-off cancellations can be just as disruptive as big scheduled changes. Before, we’d just erase those trips from the list of upcoming departures. But that was a bit too subtle.

Now, when an agency tells us about a cancelled trip (or if we detect missing trips on your line), we’ll strike them out.

Finding more drivers

At the end of the day, riders can only get more consistent, more frequent service when there’s more buses, and more drivers to overcome the nationwide driver shortage.

We can’t staff transit agencies ourselves. But we can help them fill some gaps in their roster: Transit is working with transit agencies like the MBTA in Boston, KCATA in Kansas City, SEPTA in Philly, and LA Metro in Los Angeles to share job postings for drivers, mechanics, and more.

More than 30 agencies have worked with us to help fill open positions so far, and more than 20,000 Transit users have opened these prompts to check openings at their local transit agency.

Are you a transit agency? Get in touch. We’ll share driver openings to all riders in your area. Looking for a job? Hop behind the wheel, it’s the best seat on the bus 😼

Service isn’t always as predictable as it once was. It’s not something we can change ourselves —  but we can minimize the disruption that service changes cause to riders’ lives.

Whether it’s a ten-minute-longer wait between buses, a cancelled trip, a bus running on holiday hours, or an entirely new schedule, we’re letting riders know in advance so they don’t get caught by surprise at the stop.

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