But which system should I build an App for?
In the USA, January 2010
Perhaps We Should Look at Some Other Numbers, Too
Cell Phone Marketshare % Cell Phones that Did Techy Activities
People Over Age 14 in the USA In the USA, Quarter Ending 12/2009
% Who Did This
No Cell Phone 30
Nokia All Smartphones
9.3% 18.4% 0
Used Web Used d/led App
Sent SMS Played Games Used Social Media
- CIA World Factbook
- US Census
Prepare your Arsenal of Democracy!
Other Interesting Statistics:
More people have cell phones than computers
(80% of households)
More cell phone users use text messages than
computer owners have high speed internet
Text messaging is the most accessible
Many people can also access a computer.
No one is going to want to type on a 9-digit
keypad when they can use their computer.
But by now, you must be saying,
“GET ON WITH IT. What do you want to
The MetroText Project will provide reliable
public transit information to transit riders using a
simple sms/text interface.
Schedules change every quarter
Metro has over 8,200 stops and
doesn't have resources to update
Only Metrolink stops and major bus
transfer stations have up-to-date
When You Might Want to Text Metro
Visit friends for dinner without having to drive
Avoid the Christmas traffic at the Galleria, home
But don't wait in 8 degree weather! And find out when the last bus departs.
Taking the bus to work every
Stop at Pasta House day, Bike down to Pecha Kuchu
when arriving late to without your rain gear and
Doesn't mean you know
And avoid rushing when it arrives Saturday.
avoid the freak monsoon
off tro wait. that starts when you're inside.
You: Text mtext + a 3-letter station code to 41411.
You Receive: the next scheduled departure for all buses.
Outgoing Message: To: 41411 Response:
To: 41411 Time Sent From: 41411
mtext bjx 5:12pm@bjx
Bus # Inbound/
Yes, you can even try it right now!
Finding Out Station Codes
Option A : Go to http://metrotext.org and open up the map
There is also a handy list of metrolink and major bus stations
Major Bus Stops
CWB Central West End Metrobus Station
CVB Civic Center Center
HAM Hampton Loop
BAL Ballas Metrobus Center
DLB Delmar Loop-Metrolink Bus Station
CLB Clayton Metrobus Station
Major MetroLink Stations
CWE Central West End Metrolink Center
CVC Civic Center BSH Bush Stadium
ARC Arch/Landing FPK Forest Park
DEL Delmar SKI Skinker
Option B: Go to your local bus stop!
(No. Not really. But maybe in the future! For now, just go to the website.)
Other Things At the Website
Complete “SMS Language” Comment Form
Updates on MetroText A Test Box to Try Out
(and hopefully St Louis Transit Your Texting Skills
since our updates are boring)
More Complicated Options
To: 41411 To: 41411
mtext cvc 6/7 mtext cvc
To: 41411 Set Departure Time
mtext cwe bus59
To: 41411 mtext shr 22:10
mtext cvc #60
(err..specify the # of
Inbound/ departures to show)
Outbound To: 41411
mtext cwe show 4
mtext man out
What You Can Use Now/Soon
(expect the entire service to be “Beta” for a while)
The ability to text for a bus or
train schedule (curr w/ 120 chars) Get station Ids at http://metrotext.org
To: 41411 From: 41411
mtext hrt 7:00am hrt 6/7@7:00am
Bus 59 Tomorrow 59-in:7:19 7:49
show 3 8:19
Email [STATION]@metrotext.org! Report problems via text message:
“mtext report [message]” to 41411
Work with Metro
to make station Find station codes near
codes available events and concerts
at the bus stops
Find services located To: 41411
around a metrotext From: 314-555-1122
identified stop. mtext work
To: 41411 trz@7:30am
59-out 7:32am 8:02am
12th and lynch 70-in 7:40am
More extensive Email
Search for bus stops Interface and more tools
near intersections Customizable macros
at http://metrotext.org for registered users
Metro's Longterm Plan
Following Prop A's Passage, Metro is considering:
1. New lines for Metrolink and
2. Implementation of new Bus-
3. Possible Commuter Lines
4. Smartcards for automated
5. GPSes on Buses and Real-Time
Arrival Information Available
6. No cable cars yet; however, if I
ever get to choose the project....
's Complement Plan
New Rail, BRT, and even Cable Car service doesn't add any more
complexity for us, but we could work with Metro to do the following:
Receive a text when the bus is [x] minutes away.
To: 41411 From: 41411
mtext bjc bus 59 bjc@5:03pm
in alert 5 59-in eta 5:09
Find out if GPS-enabled
Query your SmartCard Balance. buses are running on time.
To: 41411 From: 41411
mtext balance Cwe@7:13am
user 30445 pin 999 59-in 7:22 late 5
We Didn't Forget About the Techies
1. MetroText will be a publicly
available open-source project, free
for non-commercial use. 2. MetroText will work with any Google Transit Feed
3. The MetroText program will work
with Gmail and SMS-to-Email. It is
built mostly on PHP and Perl.
The Point Is:
If you are programmer and frequent transit rider, you will be able
to make your own MetroText service with custom keywords.
The Development Team
Programmer, renovator, motorcyclist;
he has no TV and doesn't like to sleep.
Matt graduated from Rolla, now works for
The Genome Center, and spends much
of his time solving problems with code.
Looming 's of Organization
1. Should MetroText be developed for
Metro to implement on its own or run
by a separate nonprofit organization?
2. What other projects would such an
3. How do you set up an organization to
be successful and sustainable forever?
4. We are developers! How do you even
set up a nonprofit organization?
This Project progresses only
because of the help and support of Get Involved!
people and organizations like: Contact us if you want to help to
Steve Lawler: Priest, Psychologist, develop MetroText or build an
Professor. organization to provide
technological solutions for
Courtney Sloger: Online Media Specialist Nonprofits.
Aaron Keegan: Former employee with East- email@example.com
West Gateway Council.
Peter Hegel: Community Outreach Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Downtown Sailing Center, Baltimore.
Metro employees and members with whom Text
we have interacted.
Michael Kiwala, Emily Bloemker, Selby Cull, mtext [STATION]
and many others unmentioned.