San Francisco transit launches text alerts program

In urban neighborhoods all over the United States, getting around in a car can be inefficient. Traffic is backed up in popular parts of the city, side roads are are extremely narrow and parking is usually a nightmare.

This is why public transportation is such an asset to these cities and towns. Instead of driving on packed roads, these light rails and buses can alleviate headaches, but not necessarily the stress.

Many Americans have waited longer than they had planned for a train or bus to arrive due to delays or traffic in the area. Because of these issues, commuters will share a love/hate relationship with these forms of transportation because they have let them down and made them late.

In San Francisco however, travelers can now be notified through a text messaging service when a bus is heading in their direction, a local NPR affiliate reported.

What makes this SMS service different from others is that those who sign up on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's (SFMTA) website will be able to receive notifications from routes they typically travel on, the San Francisco Gate explained. Before implementing this solution, the city would only share delays and detour updates on the agency's Twitter account.

"Muni's 80 routes and lines keep this city running," Tom Nolan, chairman of the agency's board of directors, told the source. "When there's a delay, our customers want the best information as quickly as possible."

Between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. the text alerts program will be live for commuters to get up-to-date information on Muni's schedules. Over time, the SFMTA hopes to incorporate a more SMS marketing spin to it, by enabling subscriptions to upcoming meetings, hearings and projects.

SMS has the ability to reach a broad audience, but it is important to determine exactly what type of text messaging subscription your business will provide. Whether it's information on upcoming sales, nearest locations or alerts, Swift SMS Gateway has the tools to help implement these solutions.