The photos above were posted by oranviri in the seatrans Flickr pool. I hadn’t seen these before. From a graphic design perspective, they’re certainly nicer, but I’d settle for consistently posting schedule information at stops, something that’s especially rare in the Rainier Valley.

As oranviri also points out, the “Stop No.” depicted is some sort of useless internal Metro code, rather than the mybus stop code. Bureaucracies being what they are, one hopes that the mybus people can modify their software to accept these codes, which would make bus riding a far more pleasant experience for those in the know.

In the long run, I wish Metro would post a paragraph or two at each time point explaining how to use the website and SMS service, but then again I’m not paying for the bandwidth at the mybus server.

20 Replies to “New Metro signs”

  1. I believe you can use the numbers in King County’s phone system (the number on the sign). I’ve only used it once and it was wrong.

    (calling now)
    (waiting through bus pass and web info)
    (press 1, then the number)
    Hey, it seems to work. It’s only scheduled time, not any kind of estimated time, and that schedule info is already on the sign in the picture, but this could be useful for minor bus stops.

  2. I’m not a fan. I love the color simplicity of the old ones. I knew what it was. I think I’m just not a fan of red on public signs.

  3. Never mind. I guess the number doesn’t work. I should have listened more carefully.

  4. I meet with the supervisor of this project last week for my independent study. Here is what I learned.

    1. The current signage system was installed around 1990 and was projected to have a live of 10 years. We are at twice that by the time that they roll this out system wide.

    2. Have had added a lot of new information to these signs which are great. They have the metro phone number and stop id. At larger stops they will also have the stop name.

    3. Mybus does not use stop numbers. Mybus uses “timepoints” which are usually intersections. Nextbus on the other hand uses actual stop numbers. Mybus can be modified to use the bus stops however in order for that to happen metro or ST would have to offer the UW some funding or do it in house. In the long run if metro wants to roll out a true mybus system these stop numbers are necessary.

    4. The stop id numbers are necessary for emergencies.

    5. For each bus route they have the number, final destination and then two modifiers lines.

    6. They are trying to make all user information exactly the same. Current the schedule, online, bus LED and stop information don’t always use the same names or abbreviations. They are correcting this problem but they are having problem with their database.

    7. Their route database needs to be updated if they want to get away from the current timetables at the stops. All of these different database are linked so they have to finish all of these updates before they can move forward.

  5. What [justin] said. I’ve lived here for 5 years and don’t know the city well enough to know what all of the abbreviated bus stop names mean. I could study a detailed schedule for 5 minutes and still not really know where the busses will take me. When I walk to my car I could be walking by a perfect bus route to my final destination, but never know it.

    But a simple map would tell even a visitor where busses go.

  6. It wouldn’t take long for a site to pop up that maps from the metro stop no. to a number. The problem is all the other stops that can’t map :/

  7. without a ‘real’ mybus system, the stop id seems to be useless. when can we expect to see a ‘real’ mybus system linked to stop id’s? can metro post a map between stop IDs and nearest timepoints so someone can at least mash the two things up to get the nearest timepoint for mybus in the interim?

    i do find the new signs visually appealing and hope they’ll get schedule information out to each stop

  8. I also liked the simplicity of color on the old ones. However, the information is displayed much more intelligently on these new ones.

  9. If a third party were to do a website that maps Metro’s stop id to the nearest timepoint, they would need the entire Metro stop ID database or start from scratch. I’m not aware of any public resource that lists those except the King County GIS data (which you need GIS software to view and extract).

  10. Some of you guys are missing the point.

    I don’t want a website to map stop ids to timepoints — if I have access to the web, I’ll just go to the mybus page in the first place.

    However, a late adopter like me, just recently using text messages, would really appreciate a l way of just texting the stop # to mybus and it automatically sending me data for the relevant timepoint. Why? Because the stop # is on the sign, and I therefore don’t have to carry around a list of stop numbers (or send another cumbersome text message) to find it.

  11. Having the stop numbers there is a huge improvement. mybus is pretty cumbersome to set up, but if I could just have it list the specific route at the specific stop I want to use, I’d be pretty happy, whether or not that ends up being the mybus stop number or Metro’s stop number.

  12. Did anyone notice that there seem to be two different IDs within a few feet of each other? When I called the number on the sign I entered the ID on the 180 sign (57899) – and it read me the wrong information. Now I notice there’s also a different ID (10907) with less digits on the larger sign (which also lists bus 180).

    (calls again) Nope. That was for bus 15, which doesn’t stop there.

    Seems user-friendly to me…

  13. *Matt I’m looking into that right now. I looked up the stop ID’s in the GIS database and they aren’t correct. I’m contacting metro right now to see if they just made up numbers or if they are using a new list of stop ids.

  14. I hope the new signs will, when appropriate, list which way a given bus route is going. Not for me. I can figure it out. But I see a lot of confusion from other people, for various reasons, who have trouble figure out which is the correct stop or bay to wait at. It’s surprising that so many people don’t comprehend that buses go in two different directions.

  15. They should put an owl symbol for night routes, and a 24-hr symbol for 24 hr. routes.

  16. The bus stop id numbers on the flags are just “dummy” numbers. There’s a rider alert next to these flags even indicate that the info on them are not correct.

    These numbers are used internally to process info about specific stops, like if there’s a shelter in place, routes that use the zone, etc.

  17. What happened to the “next bus in X minutes” signs they were testing out around Aurora? Did they completely fail?

    “Next bus in X minutes” signs are clearly more expensive than just posting the stop ID, but they’re also much, much more useful.

Comments are closed.