Frequently Asked Questions
For information about getting NextBus real-time arrival information for your transit system, please use our contact form.
For rider feedback on using NextBus, send us an email at email@example.com.
How do riders use NextBus?
Real-time arrival information from NextBus can be obtained from signs installed at transit stops, from desktops with access to the World Wide Web, and from mobile device browsers and apps.
How does it work?
NextBus uses Global Position Satellite (GPS) technology and advanced computer modeling to track buses and streetcars on their routes. Taking into account the actual position of the transit vehicles, their intended stops, and the typical traffic patterns, NextBus estimates the bus arrivals with a high degree of accuracy. This estimate is updated constantly as the vehicles are tracked. The NextBus system is covered by U.S. Patents 6,006,159 and 6,374,176. The system is also produced under license from ArrivalStar, Inc. U.S. Patents 5,623,260; 6,411,891; 6,317,060; 6,415,207; 6,313,760 and 6,278,936.
How accurate are the predictions?
The accuracy of the predictions vary depending upon many factors including changes in traffic patterns, accidents, Internet traffic, etc. Therefore, NextBus cannot specify precise, overall accuracy. In general though, the margin of error is less than one minute for predictions of five-minutes or less. For ten-minute predictions, the margin of error is less than two minutes. We have biased the predictions slightly early to avoid people missing buses. NextBus is confident that you will find the system accurate enough to be very helpful.
What are the benefits of the system?
The NextBus system puts the transit rider in control. Even when riders know what the schedule is, there are a number of reasons that vehicles may not arrive when expected. Traffic variations, breakdowns, and the day-to-day problems faced by any transit company can delay or completely interrupt service.
By using the NextBus system to determine when the next vehicle is going to arrive, the rider doesn't need to wait an indeterminate amount of time at a possibly unpleasant or unsafe stop. Instead the rider can make an informed decision. If the vehicle will not be arriving for an extended period, the rider can go into a store, read the newspaper, or even take another mode of transportation. This increased convenience can enhance a rider’s trust in a transit system. Studies have shown that having real-time arrival information available can increase ridership systemwide.
Additionally, NextBus has a full suite of management tools that agencies can use to optimize their operations. These tools include live maps, replay maps, and customizable schedule adherence, headway, and job/block reports.
How long does installing NextBus take?
The length of time to “go live” with NextBus varies depending on the number of vehicles and routes in the transit system, as well as the various options to be installed (NextBus platform, Sign and Display Management, automatic passenger counters, etc.). Generally, from the notice to proceed, most NextBus installations take three to six months to complete.
What new features is NextBus working on?
We provide enhancements and upgrades to NextBus system approximately three times per year and at no additional cost to the customer. Please contact us to find out our newest features and product offerings.
For any other inquiries, contact us at:
5900 Hollis Street, Suite X, Emeryville, CA 94608
(510) 995-3200 (tel)
(510) 521-1446 (fax)