September 9, 2001 12:27 AM   Subscribe has been around for years, but doesn't seem to have been posted here yet. It lists schedule and fare information for several dozen public transportation agencies in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. It's not too flashy, but it's one of the most quietly useful websites I've found. For those of you who don't live in and around San Francisco: are there websites like this for other regions?
posted by moss (17 comments total)
sites like remind me of the web's begining, when everything looked like crap and most everything you found was interesting and helpful. i love something that looks nice as much as the next guy, but (again, how often is this said?) content is what counts. when i moved to san francisco i was able to find out everything i could possibly need to know at transitinfo. (try just finding a train schedule at
posted by prosaic at 1:12 AM on September 9, 2001

Why fight Cheyenne rush hour traffic? Avoid the fuss. Come ride with us!
posted by crasspastor at 3:05 AM on September 9, 2001

But of course we have a world-class website for our world-class transit system here in Vancouver.
posted by mb01 at 3:38 AM on September 9, 2001

Of course.
posted by vbfg at 4:29 AM on September 9, 2001


Excuse me. I just fell off my chair.


*wipes away tears*

That was a good one.
posted by gloege at 5:53 AM on September 9, 2001

Cincinnati (or as I like to call it, the worst transit system of any major metropolitan area) has only the bus line, which is SORTA/METRO. It runs on some streets, but does not have good coverage for the entire city. The bus runs every 20 minutes during non rush hour, every 15 minutes during rush hour, and every 30 minutes during weekends, and sometimes worse for other routes. Some routes, even within the city, run once per hour on weekends, or once every other hour.

They wanted to put a light rail in, which would go along the highway. It would be a straight line through the city, and was a stuipid idea. The federal government agreed and denied their grant.

It also takes 30 minutes to get a taxi here, if not longer, even downtown.

posted by benjh at 8:20 AM on September 9, 2001

bah, cincinnati metro.. i had to ride that damn thing for 3 years during high school. was late 30% of the time.
posted by lotsofno at 9:53 AM on September 9, 2001

Isn't calling your transit system SORTA pretty much admitting from the start that it's not going to be any good?
posted by kirkaracha at 9:57 AM on September 9, 2001

kirkaracha: my college town of San Luis Obispo has a SLO-Transit. (as well as a SLOPD and SLOFD) go figure.
posted by prosaic at 11:37 AM on September 9, 2001

A schedule/fare information site is pretty common nowadays. What is more useful is real-time info so that people can know if their bus is on time. Lots of people in Seattle use to keep track of their specific bus stop (and there's also a clunky java version which has potential).
posted by gluechunk at 12:44 PM on September 9, 2001

okay yes Cleveland has an RTA site... the information for the most part is inaccurate...

hence it usually takes a 42 minute across the city around 2 hours and 13 minutes if you follow the route and take the buses, the RTA online suggests...

posted by gloege at 1:32 PM on September 9, 2001

The problem is, is that it's not "SORTA crappy", its "REALLY, REALLY crappy".
posted by benjh at 1:57 PM on September 9, 2001

Washington, DC
posted by Witold at 3:47 PM on September 9, 2001

Seattle has indispensable local traffic maps updated by the minute. If you live close enough to downtown to make the bus system worthwhile (Tim Eyman, may you rot in traffic) there's the nifty, which uses GPS widgets on the buses to tell you if they're running late, and is a local secret.

The local metro transit information system is adequate if you know exactly what you're looking for, but it's a disaster if you're new to the area. They don't even provide an overall system map, so you can't tell what buses come near your destination. I lived in Sunnyvale for a year and adored while I was there.
posted by bumppo at 5:16 PM on September 9, 2001

bumppo, while there are several bus gps systems out there, the Seattle buses (and thus do not use GPS at this time. As explained in this article:
"most [Seattle] buses are equipped with radio transmitters to report their location to Metro. In Seattle, equipment on a bus determines its location through a combination of calculating distance with an odometer and signals from positioning beacons placed around the city. Buses report their location about once every minute...the Mybus computer compares each bus' progress to its past performance and makes a statistical prediction of when the bus will arrive."
(btw, as of last year, was getting 1 million pageviews a month, so it's not that much of a secret....)
posted by gluechunk at 10:22 PM on September 9, 2001

LA's MTA has a pretty good site, never mind the fact that the system is so NIMBY'd its useless for any practical applicaton. Even Florida's Tri-Rail was better.

Longing for the DC/MD metro system
posted by owillis at 10:40 PM on September 9, 2001

In Washington, DC metro area, a system is being tested that uses GPS to automatically update the time schedule of buses. This information is displayed automatically at the bus stop, and is available on the web as well. ( From the web page, it looks like the system is being tested in a number of other locations as well, including San Fran, Santa Barbara, and Boston.

Accompanying story from the Washington post.
posted by Witold at 11:17 AM on September 10, 2001

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