Wednesday, May 09, 2007

BART TV and other portals

Have you guys seen BART TV? Not sure how BART is pushing these video and news clips out to the masses but for me, I just randomly came across it last month on the BART website. There are relevant BART news items that may not necessarily be on the local news. Not a bad idea, but too hard for passengers to access to rely on as an up-to-the-minute news update on BART.

MyBART is another interesting portal for BART to connect with the Bay Area community. Have you used it? I haven't. I've seen promotional snippets scrolling on the BART electronic bulletin on the platforms but haven't taken advantage of the discounts and activities. Again, the MyBART web page is not the first place I go to during weekends but it is a good start for BART. Maybe I'll start checking it out more as they fill it up with more discounts and events. Not a bad idea really!

You know what BART REALLY needs??? What BART really needs is up-to-the-second SMS alert on daily train delays. For example, I take the SF-bound train from Orinda. Sometimes my train is 5 minutes late, other times it is 8 minutes late. I would like to know BEFORE I leave my house, or even as I am driving to the station! WHY? Because if I know I have 8 extra minutes, I won't be running yellow-to-red lights, and I won't be breaking my heels running like mad from the parking lot up the escalators to the platform only to find out that my train will not be here for awhile.

When can BART launch this capability?? I don't want the BART schedule on my mobile phone- I have the schedule by memory. I want the updates to delays or an alert saying it is ontime!

4 comments:

Fritz said...

If BART wants to distribute video PR, they should post the media to social networking sites like YouTube.

Anonymous said...

The signage is linked to the computer system that controls the trains. In other words, when you are in the station, and see "Daly City train, 8 cars in 3 minutes", that message is generated by the control computers.

That message is "always there", even though the station sign says different things (like public service announcements).

And, the message is generally accurate. The time is rounded up - 30 seconds becomes one minute. The train length can be incorrect - at the initial station, the length is based on the planned (canned) length. But, once the doors close, and the train gets to the next station, the length (usually) is correct. The station "reads" the train and the train tells the station the correct length. This new length gets passed down the line.

Since the message is there all the time, it could be passed to a cell phone - say once a minute. The data is there, it just needs the hardware to text message to the cell phones.

bartmusings said...

It shouldnt be that hard to distribute to cellphones since the data is there. Maybe the new ad revenues BART will receive with the proposed new video displays/monitors, can help pay for something like this. Up-to-the-minute status is the 21st century! BART really should look into it.

Anonymous said...

In the morning I'd just like to see when the next train is coming. It only shows one. Using Pleasant Hill for an example, lets assume that the Daly City train is 4 mins away. Well when is the next one, are they on time, etc? Because if its a jam packed train I'd like to know when I can expect the next one.