The true sign of an outerborougher is an appreciation for the bus system. Let’s face it, it will be a long, long time before subway service between and within Brooklyn and Queens is ideal. So, the MTA has seen fit to provide us with buses that navigate all the gray spaces between subway lines and once you get the hang of them, they’re pretty great (rarely crowded, always relaxing).
Now, The Yeshiva World News is reporting that starting on March 9, the MTA will keep a promise they made (!!!) and expand MTA Bus Time™ technology to include all bus routes in Brooklyn and Queens. Oh happy day! That means you’ll be able to track the exact location of a bus from your phone and avoid waiting around for something that isn’t coming for another half hour anyway.
Here’s how it’ll work:
- Click it: From any web-enabled smart phone or desktop computer, just go to bustime.mta.info and enter a bus route, intersection, street address, landmark, or bus stop code. You’ll get a map showing where buses are located within the specific route or region you’ve searched. Click on a bus stop or a bus for more detailed information.
- Text it: Text an intersection or street address to 511123 from any cell phone to receive a message listing local bus routes. Select a route and direction to learn the location of the closest bus stop and how far away the next buses are. Bus distances are given in terms of miles away if the bus is far, in terms of bus stops away if it’s close.
- Tip: You can save a step by texting a bus stop code instead. Bus stop codes are provided in text responses, are online at Bus Time’s website, and printed on the Guide-A-Ride schedules posted at bus stops.
- Scan it: If you have a smart phone with a QR Code reader, scan the QR Code printed on the Guide-A-Ride schedules posted at bus stops. Without touching a button, your smart phone will instantly take you to information about buses approaching the stop where you’re standing. Because of Hurricane Sandy and the nor’easter, some bus stops do not yet have Guide-A-Rides showing the QR Codes and bus stop codes. They will be updated soon.
The expansion will include 164 new routes, 9000 bus stops and generally make our lives that much easier. Thank you, MTA. Really.
Follow Nikita Richardson on Twitter @nikitarbk