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RapidBus.net in Beta

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Attention transit nerds! Are you jealous of other big cities that employ GPS technologies to bring you the time of the next arriving bus on your cell phone or wireless PDA? We might not be that far away.

In collaboration with LADOT, Metro is testing out their own version on RapidBus.Net with a select number of lines including the Orange Line. Here is what we experienced and our recommendations:

1. It let us know when to leave the house
We were taking the bus and red line subway to the LA Phil from Sherman Oaks. With a few minute walk to Ventura Blvd., we hate to be walking and see the Rapid 750 pass us by from a block away. So we go to RapidBus.net on our computer and see how many minutes until the next arrival. "15 minutes?" we say to ourselves, "We'll leave in 7."

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2. Checking it from our cell phone didn't work so well.
So the Verizon E815 or whatever this phone is had trouble accessing our exact bus stop info. We landed on the homepage, but couldn't input our bus number, intersection and eastbound directive.

3. As you can see in the picture...
We don't need to use the cell phone, with the LED Display showing when the next bus will arrive. It should be noted that when it says "Bus Arriving," it means the bus is within a block away.

4. Do Like Google, Use SMS.
What we love about using Google through our cell phone is their SMS technology. While out and about sometimes, we get hungry and want to go to that restaurant on Sherman Way. So we just text to 466453 (that spells GOOGLE) the restaurant name and city/state, and we'll get the address and phone number texted back to us. Now what if we could text Metro "750 eastbound woodman ave" and get the arrival time of the next bus in a auto text reply?

5. Why invent your own when you can outsource?
It's all about government contracts, right? Why not NextBus? They do San Francisco and even a bunch of local cats like Glendale, Camarillo, Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks. Just do it and get it done with.

The program tracks the following lines: 714 (Peak Hours Only), 720, 734 (Peak Hours Only), 741, 745, 750, 751, 754, 757 & 901 (aka Orange Line)

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Photo taken at Woodman and Ventura along the 750 Rapid Route.