O txtmuni, why hast thou forsaken me?

That’s what I’ve been wondering the past couple of weeks. Txtmuni, a wonderful little service that you can use with your cell phone to check when the next bus is coming to your stop, suddenly stopped working a couple of weeks ago. Instead of useful displays of how many minutes I’d have to wait for the next death-trap-on-wheels, it would say “no times avail.”

So I dug up a contact for the guy who runs txtmuni, and finally heard from him today. It turns out that Muni changed all the “stop codes” on the Web site — all the data txtmuni was using to get ITS information. And the guy who runs the site just moved away for grad school and won’t have time to fix things on his end for a while. I get that.

However, he says there’s an alternative; NextBus has its own SMS system, with a slightly different syntax than txtmuni’s, but the same basic functionality. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m definitely going to. I’ve come to rely on the ability to use my cell phone to find out how long I have to wait.

So, for those of you who wonder, like I did, what happened to txtmuni, that’s the story. For those of you who didn’t know about these handy services, now you do.

— Beth W.

Beth W. is still wondering why txtmuni never had time information for the 38 line, but it’s a moot point now.

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