SPARKTECH created an SMS system that allows passengers to text the location ID, already provided at each stop, with the Bus Number they want and receive an automated response with the next 3 times the bus will arrive. It also is available in spanish and is blind accessible.
Want to know when the HART bus gets to the McKinley Drive & Fowler Ave stop?
- Text "1619 5" to (813) 434-1117
- For Spanish text "ES 1619 5"
Or when the HART bus gets to the Hyatt Regency stop?
- Text "5872 46" to (813) 434-1117
- For Spanish text "ES 5872 46"*
- Install node.js
- sudo apt-get install python-software-properties
- sudo apt-add-repository ppa:chris-lea/node.js
- sudo apt-get update
- sudo apt-get install nodejs npm
- Run controller.js
- node controller.js
- for background mode: nohup node controller.js &
Most HART bus stops do not have route times or when the next bus is coming for passengers.
Majority of passengers do not have smartphone capabilities and cannot look up the schedule on Google or the HART website.
SPARKTECH created an SMS system that allows passengers to text the location ID, already provided at each stop, with the Bus Number they want and receive an automated response with the next 3 times the bus will arrive. It also is available in spanish. TRY IT HERE.
Why did we choose this solution?
SPARKTECH felt this was the best solution for public riders with the existing HART resources. Each bus stop already has the Location ID and Bus # available. So we created a database that parses the schedules to make the information easily accessible for passengers. We swayed away from crowd-sourcing because that makes users come out of their comfort zone and tries to force them to learn a new habit. We focused on what the demographic already does which is texting. We also decided on using this type of technology because we understood what type of phones our demographic uses and felt a mobile application isn't necessary for the majority and the individuals with smartphones could just find the information on Google or GoHART.org.
Luqmaan Dawoodjee | Lead Developer
Daniel Melick | Lead Strategist
Kathleen Tran | Developer
Francis Gelderloos | Data Developer
Erik Christensen | Mobile Developer
Jeremy Fisher | Researcher
Maria Ordehi | Researcher
Total Ridership in 2011: 14,220,590
77% of passengers have cellphones
Only 26% use smartphones (iPhone, Android, Windows, Blackberry)
51% use regular cellphones (no data plan or browser)
25% of passengers are hispanic (2011 census)
Passenger sends a text with â€œ(Location ID, provided at each stop) + (Bus Stop #, also provided at each stop)â€� (example: â€œ5186 46â€�) to (813) 434-1117 (short code is available).
HARTXT sends an auto-response with the next 3 times the bus will arrive at that specific bus stop.
TRY IT YOURSELF!
Here's some bus stops:
Sun Ridge Apartments Stop
Location ID: 4598
Bus #: 6
Text "4598 6" to (813) 434-1117
for spanish Text "ES 4598 6"
Hyatt Regency Stop
Location ID: 5872
Bus #: 46
Text "5872 46" to (813) 434-1117
for spanish Text "ES 5872 46"
McKinley Drive & Fowler Ave Stop
Location ID: 1619
Bus #: 5
Text "1619 5" to (813) 434-1117
for spanish Text "ES 1619 5"
Short Code Number: $12,000 a year ($3000 a quarter)
Cost per Text: $.01
2500 Bus Signs (estimated) x $10 (estimated + labor): $25,000
First Year Set Up Total: $37,000 + $.01 per text
Year After Total: $12,000 + $.01 per text