Text the CTA to learn when your next bus arrives

The CTA has finally rolled out its long-promised feature that allows you to text the CTA (at 41411) with your bus stop ID number. You will get a return text message with estimated arrival times for the next two buses.

You can find bus stop ID numbers at the CTA’s Bus Route Guides page, at the Bus Tracker site, on results pages from Google Transit maps. and on 42 bus stops signs in a pilot program.

This slide show gives basic instructions and illustrates where to find your bus stop ID number.

Filed under: CTA in the news

Tags: CTA, text bus arrival


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  • I love this, but the numbers really should be on all the signs. Not everyone as the patience or the web enabled phone to look us numbers on the web while standing at a bus stop.

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    Cheryl, I saved my most frequently stops as text templates on my (non-web-enabled) phone. They also have a little PDF on the tracker site that you can print out to get a wallet-sized card with your favorite stop IDs. And they are piloting a stop ID sign program, with a number of high-traffic stops throughout the city already having stickers with their ID on them and directions about how to text the tracker.

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    I have all of my most used stops already printed out. It's just sometimes I'm on a route I don't normally take. It would be really helpful to have the number posted on the sign.

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    Unfortunately, it's useless at stops used by more than a single bus route. Bus stops along Michigan Ave. at rush hour? Forget it.

    (Fortunately I have a Web-enabled phone and a few dozen stops bookmarked on it. You can also use a special bit of HTML in the bookmark to make sure you see only buses you care about: add &showAllBusses=off to the end of the URL.)

  • In reply to BobS:

    From CTA's website:

    "To get just the routes you're interested (and potentially reduce the number of texts you need to send or receive to get the information you want), you can also specify a route number in your request. Add "rt[#]" (with the route number instead of the number sign) to your request.

    ctabus 1124 rt145

    Instead of getting all results for buses predicted to arrive at stop 1124 (Michigan & Ontario), you'll only get results for #145 Wilson/Michigan Express buses."

  • In reply to ruinor:

    Ah, thanks. Ideally the CTA will add that info to the signs and wireless Web pages.

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