NextBus outage could last for weeks

next bus broken sign examiner

Updated Jan 10, 2017:

Muni says that NextBus prediction for most of the 150 light rail vehicles have been fixed, which leaves the 500 buses that still need an upgrade. By our calculation, this means about 50% of the vehicles are still affected (versus 70% previously). More details this way.

Original post:

Think this week’s commute was a shit show with all those NextMuni lies? That could be the case for the next couple of weeks, according to NextBus, the system which runs prediction times for Muni, had upgraded its wireless network from 2G and now many of the old buses don’t show up on NextMuni at all.

More from SFBay:

The transit agency has been going through an upgrade with the NextMuni system. The system uses AT&T’s wireless cellphone network to transmit the data to the NextMuni screens.

Data had been transmitting through NextMuni using a 2G network, which AT&T had deactivated because the technology is now outdated.

SFMTA officials said the deactivation happened sooner than expected so some Muni vehicles may not show up on NextMuni because they simply do not have the upgraded communications and monitoring system yet.

According to the SFMTA’s blog post, this affects 70% of vehicles and includes all Metro trains.

And it’s not just the signs at Muni shelters that are affected. Because third party transit apps also use NextBus data, you won’t be getting accurate prediction on your phone either.

You might remember seeing the “upgrading to 3G” signs last summer. As Hoodline points out, the agency should have known about the upgrade for years. “AT&T first noted in an SEC filing back in 2012 that it intended to sunset its legacy system on January 1, 2017.”

The SFMTA says that they are “working aggressively to resolve the issue” but has not given any time estimates other than “at least a matter of weeks.”

So basically, for the next couple of weeks, we will have no idea when the bus is coming most of the time. Meanwhile, the SFMTA suggests that you use the line frequency schedule to figure out your commute. That should be an interesting, if not unfulfilling, exercise?

We’ll keep you updated on the any progress we find out.

Well, this sucks. While you’re waiting for the bus and not knowing when it’s coming at all, maybe the Muni Diaries podcast can keep you company. Find us on iTunes and Google Play.

Photo credit: SF Examiner


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