Hey JP peeps, turns out the MBTA has been publishing live data (for software developers) on some bus location data for certain routes. One of the routes is the one we all love and hate- the 39.
Check out the T Tracker
, which is stunning. There's a live map, a page which will show you the arrival time to the next bus (complete with a link to put all the necessary info in the URL so you can bookmark it!), and even a text-only page where navigation is entirely done by tapping links- perfect for smartphones. When I used that page on my iPhone, the screen was centered+zoomed in on just the arrival information- cool beans. Hint: to bookmark a stop on your iPhone from the text-only system, once you've selected the right stop, hold your finger on "refresh" until you're prompted with 3 choices. You want "open in a new window." Now bookmark that page and you're done!
There's also a phone number you can call ( 617-517-3917 ) once you know your stop number, and get arrival data. The only thing I can think of to add to this would be the ability to text a stop # to that same number and get a reply back with the next arrival or two- that would be spiffy.
Someone over at the MBTA "gets it"- now if only the 39 could run more consistently! :)
Post in the comments your experience with it, tips, etc. I hear there's a 39 bus route meeting coming up soon- might be nice to complement the MBTA at that meeting on doing a good job with this live tracking stuff.