In January, 2013, ABQ RIDE introduced different smartphone apps to help you easily locate your bus or plan your ride. But what if all you have is a cellphone with texting? Now, ABQ RIDE has a way to use that texting to help you quickly find the next scheduled buses at your Rapid Ride stop.
It’s called TXT2RIDE (TEXT 27433). You simply text your Rapid Ride bus stop number (number pucks are currently at every Rapid Ride stop in the city) and after a space, the bus route number to 27433. For instance, to find the next scheduled buses for the #766 Rapid Ride stop at Louisiana & Lomas, type in 7606 766. In as little as 15 seconds, you’ll get a text back with your next two, scheduled buses. If the bus stop serves more than one bus route, you’ll need to compose a separate text message for each route.
“TXT2RIDE, along with all of ABQ RIDE’s smartphone apps, now makes it possible to know where and when your bus is scheduled to be. This is just one way the city is utilizing technology to create efficiencies,” said Mayor Richard J. Berry. “This also brings us closer to my goal that citizens regard ABQ RIDE as their own personal transportation.”
TXT2RIDE was developed in partnership with AT&T’s Global Smart Messaging Suite. The cloud-based GSMS application easily integrated with ABQ RIDE’s existing Google Transit route data format without any significant modifications. ABQ RIDE can also attach notices to the text message response if a route is on detour or experiencing a delay. ABQ RIDE doesn’t charge a fee to use the TXT2RIDE service. Normal text messaging rates apply according to your mobile phone service provider and text message plan.
For now, only the 58 Rapid Ride stops in Albuquerque have a round, plastic puck with a blue-colored number identifying the stop. It’s a tactile, four-digit number posted on the bus stop pole about five feet above the ground with most pucks facing the sidewalk. The bus stop number is also provided in Type II Braille below the tactile number. This is currently a pilot program. By the end of 2014, all ABQ RIDE bus stops should have this bus stop number puck.
"With the addition of TXT2RIDE, ABQ RIDE’s 13 million ridership now has unprecedented, updated information on bus departures and alerts, without needing a smartphone.,” said Bruce Rizzieri, Director of ABQ RIDE. “And it can be accessed more quickly than waiting for information from 3-1-1.”