Frequently Asked Questions about Nextrip
- What is Nextrip?
- How does Nextrip work?
- How accurate are the predictions?
- What are the benefits of the system?
- Are there fees for using Nextrip?
- How do I use Nextrip service?
- How do I look up a Stop/Station Number?
- How many arrival times can I see or hear for a particular route and stop?
- How many bus stops are there?
- How many bus routes and lines are there?
- How many rail stations are there?
- How many rail lines are there?
- What could happen to cause a prediction to be wrong?
- What will happen on holidays?
- Can I bookmark my stop/station?
- When do I have to specify the "Destination?"
- Does the site offer access for the visually impaired?
- How does the system remember the last stop/station I specified?
- Do I need to have cookies enabled?
- Do I need to have Java enabled?
- Where do I find schedules?
- What do the Nextrip screen messages mean?
- Is my privacy protected?
- How do I turn off that 'clicking' sound?
- Is Nextrip information posted at stops/stations?
Q1: What is Nextrip?
Nextrip is a service designed to help take the guesswork out of bus and rail arrivals and help you to get to your stop at the same time as your bus or train. Nextrip uses satellite technology to find the specific location of a bus or train; then sends the estimated arrival time to a particular stop via cell phone, website or other mobile device.
Q2: How does Nextrip work?
Nextrip uses Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology and advanced computer modeling to track buses and trains on their routes. Taking into account the actual position of the transit vehicles, their intended stops, and the typical traffic patterns, Nextrip predicts arrivals with a high degree of accuracy. Estimates are updated constantly as vehicles are tracked.
Q3: How accurate are the predictions?
Nextrip technology tracks transit vehicles on their routes every 2 to 3 minutes and the information sent via the Internet is updated every minute. The accuracy of predictions varies depending upon many factors, including changes in traffic patterns, accidents, etc. Therefore, Nextrip cannot specify an exact overall accuracy. In general though, the margin of error is less than one minute for predictions of five minutes away or less. For ten-minute predictions, the margin of error is less than two minutes. Predictions are biased slightly early to avoid people missing buses and trains.
Q4: What are the benefits of the system?
The Nextrip system puts riders in control. Even when you know what the schedule is, there are a number of reasons that vehicles may not arrive when expected. Heavy traffic, breakdowns, and other unforeseen problems can delay or completely interrupt service. By using Nextrip to determine when the next vehicle is going to arrive, you can minimize time spent waiting for a bus or train. Specifically, you can determine exactly when to leave home or the office in order to meet the bus or train.
Q5: Are there fees for using Nextrip?
Metro charges no fees for using Nextrip. But you may be assessed data or air-time charges from your cell phone or Internet provider if you exceed your monthly limits.
By Text: Text “Metro” and your stop/station number to 41411. Leave a space between the word “Metro” and your stop/station number when entering text.
By Mobile Web: Point your mobile device or smart phone to m.metro.net and click Nextrip. If GPS is enabled, your phone will automatically find the nearest stop or you can enter a new stop/station number. Bookmark your stop/station for future easy access.
By Voice: Call 511, say “Nextrip,” and follow the prompts. Enter your stop number and route number when asked and you’ll hear the estimated arrival time of the next bus at your stop. If you need your stop number, call 511 and say, “Stop Number.”
Online: Go to Metro.net/Nextrip or go511.com and click on the Nextrip link. Enter your stop/station number and select your route from the drop down menu. Choose the direction you’re traveling and select your stop/station from the list.
Q7: How do I look up a Stop/Station Number?
Remember that your stop/station number is NOT the same as your bus or train route number. Find your stop/station number online at Metro.net/Nextrip. You can also call 511 and say "Look up a stop number."
Q8: How many arrival times can I see or hear for a particular route and stop?
Up to three for the primary selected route. Other routes servicing the stop can also appear for up to two hours from the buses’ scheduled arrival times.
Q13: What could happen to cause a prediction to be wrong?
Unexpected detours, accidents, traffic slowdowns and severe weather can cause predictions to be less accurate. Broken bus equipment also can cause predictions to not be available for that bus or train.
Q14: What will happen on holidays?
Depending upon the holiday, Metro will run a Saturday, Sunday or weekday schedule. Predicted arrival times will be affected by the unusual traffic patterns and other factors unique to a holiday. The predicted arrival times will not be as accurate on detoured routes during special events, such as the 4th of July. For a complete holiday schedule list, please see Metro maps and timetables.
Q15: Can I bookmark my stop/station?
Yes, on a smart phone or on the web you can bookmark the arrival predictions page for the stops/stations you use. This will save you having to select your route and stop/station each time you use Nextrip.
Q16: When do I have to specify the "Destination?"
Sometimes there are multiple routes that go to where you want to go. The Nextrip system can provide predictions for all possible routes that serve your stops/stations, as long as you specify both the stop/station where you are boarding and the destination. Also, there are some routes that have multiple destinations. If your destination is only served by some of the vehicles for your route, selecting your destination ensures that you will only see predictions for vehicles going to your destination. If only one route serves the stop where you board, specifying "Destination" is unnecessary.
Q17: Does the site offer access for the visually impaired?
Yes, the accessible version has an especially streamlined interface optimized for accessibility and performance for visually impaired customers and mobile-device users. Select the ADA Website option.
Q18: How does the system remember the last stop/station I specified?
The Nextrip system uses a browser cookie to keep track of the last stop/station for which real-time arrival information was obtained on your computer.
Q19: Do I need to have cookies enabled?
You can obtain real-time predictions even if cookies are disabled. Cookies are only used to remember the last stop/station for which you wanted predictions and to support animated bus and rail locations on the live map. So while this feature is not necessary, it can make it quicker for you to get your desired information.
Q21: Do I need to have Java enabled?
Java applets are only used for displaying real-time maps showing where the vehicles are on the desired route. If you have Java disabled, or are using a browser that cannot run applets, you will still be able to access all other features.
Q22: Where do I find schedules?
A link to schedules is provided when possible. They are available on the web at metro.net.
No current prediction - No information is available at the moment. Check again in a few minutes. A prediction likely will be available shortly.
Possible reasons for this message include:
There is no vehicle between the beginning of the route and your stop/station. You are especially like to receive this message if your stop/station is near the beginning of a route. Wait a few minutes and a prediction should appear.
No vehicles are currently scheduled to run. Consult the schedule link for details.
Vehicles are running but not ones with the required tracking equipment.
Vehicles are deviating from their usual routes.
No service scheduled
No vehicles are expected to operate at this time. Check timetables for more details.
More than X minutes
No vehicle is nearby. The Nextrip system has determined it will be at least X minutes before the vehicle arrives, but cannot specify an exact wait time. As soon as the vehicle moves, the wait time will be updated.
To restart predictions: Click here
You have left the computer idle for an extended period. Simply click or reload the page to restart predictions.
Nextrip applet not running
Your web browser stopped displaying predictions. Reload the page to restart it again.
Wait a few seconds, or reload the page.
A vehicle is at, or very near, your stop.
Q24: Is my privacy protected?
Nextrip does not track your identity. The system only keeps track of the last stop/station selected on your computer. If you choose, you can even eliminate this record by turning off the cookies for your browser. You will still be able to obtain predictions. For cell phone, PDA, and SMS sites Nextrip will only use any collected information for providing passenger information to you. Nextrip will NOT use this information for any other purpose nor sell or distribute this information to any other organization.
Q25: How do I turn off that 'clicking' sound?
With some versions of Internet Explorer, the system generates a clicking sound every time a new page is loaded. This can be annoying because a new prediction is loaded at least once a minute. To turn off this clicking sound on a Microsoft Windows PC, open the system Control Panel and click on "Sounds and Multimedia". In the Sounds tab, look under the Windows Explorer section and click on "Start Navigation". Under Name: you will probably see start.wav which is the clicking sound. Replace the text "start.wav" with "(None)" and hit OK.
Q26: Is Nextrip information posted at stops/stations?
Metro is in the process of installing Nextrip information at stops/stations throughout the region. Nextrip information at stops/stations includes a unique, identifying bus stop number, texting instructions and the 511 phone number. If your stop/station has not yet been updated, you can find your stop/station number online at either metro.net or go511.com, or you can call 511 and say, “Stop Number,” and follow the prompts.