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BUStxt

Winnipeg Transit’s Short Message Service (SMS)
User Guide

For a printable version of our BUStxt user guide click on the Bustxt User Guide.pdf

Welcome to BUStxt, Winnipeg Transit’s Short Message Service (SMS). BUStxt lets you get real-time transit information, anywhere, anytime, using the texting features of your mobile device.

You can access BUStxt at 287898 (bustxt) on your mobile device.

IMPORTANT:
When you use BUStxt, standard text messaging rates may apply, depending on the terms of the service plan you have with your service provider. Depending on the type of query you make, BUStxt may reply to your device with more than one text message.

Quick Start

You can find detailed information about how to use BUStxt in the sections after this one.

For a quick start, here are some examples of common BUStxt commands. For each example, different versions of the same command are shown to illustrate the flexibility of BUStxt. All versions of the same example retrieve identical results. Commands are not case-sensitive.

Examples 1 to 4 show how to search for bus departure times at a bus stop you specify.
Note that times is the default command for BUStxt, so you do not have to type times in your message. The keyword times is included in the first version of each of examples 1 to 4 for illustration only.

Ex Command How BUStxt interprets the Command
1 times nb osborne@river
nb osb@riv
10171
At what times, from right now, will all routes serving stop 10171 (Northbound Osborne@River) depart?
2 times nb osb@river 16
nb osb at river 16
10171 16
At what times from right now will Route 16 depart stop 10171 (Northbound Osborne@River)?
3 times nb osborne@river 15:30
nb osb at riv 1530
nb osborne@riv 3:30pm
nb osb@river 330pm
10171 1530
10171 330pm
nb osb@riv 1530
nb osborne@river 330pm
10171 1530
10171 330pm
At what times will all routes serving stop 10171 (Northbound Osborne@River) depart after 3:30 pm?
4 times nb osb@riv 1530 16 18
10171 330pm 16 18
nb osb at riv 330pm 16 18
10171 1530 16 18
At what times will Route 16 and Route 18 depart stop 10171 (Northbound Osborne@River) after 3:30 pm?

Examples 5 to 8 show how to search for bus stops that are nearest an address, intersection, or landmark you specify.

Ex Command How BUStxt interprets the Command
5 stops 421 osborne street
stops 421 osborne St
stops 421 osborne
stops 421 osb
What are the nearest bus stops to 421 Osborne Street?
6 stops portage@donald
stops port at don
What are the nearest bus stops to the intersection of Portage Avenue at Donald Street?
7 stops mts centre What are the nearest bus stops to the MTS Centre?
8 stops city hall What are the nearest bus stops to City Hall?

Examples 9 to 14 show how to search for information about the service of a bus you’re riding on.

Ex Command How BUStxt interprets the Command
9 bus 401 At what times will Bus 401 arrive at its next major timing points?
10 bus 401 1630 At what location will Bus 401 be at 16:30?
11 bus 401 10171 At what time will Bus 401 arrive at stop 10171 (Northbound Osborne@River)?
12 bus 401 osborne@morley At what time will Bus 401 arrive at the intersection of Osborne@Morley?
13 bus 401 421 osborne At what time will Bus 401 arrive at a stop close to 421 Osborne Street?
14 bus 401 mts centre At what time will Bus 401 arrive at a stop close to the MTS Centre?

Command Reference

Main BUStxt Commands:

  • stops – search for the stops nearest a geographic location you specify
  • times – search for bus departure times at a stop you specify
  • bus – search for information about the current service of a bus you specify

Other Commands (required by CWTA Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association):

  • INFO – Information about the BUStxt service
  • HELP – Instructions on how to use the system
  • AIDE – French version of “HELP
  • STOP – Cancel any notification subscriptions
  • ARRET – French version of “STOP

stops Command:
Search for Stops

If you want to find the five digit stop numbers and names of the stops nearest a geographic location you specify, you can use the stops command in three ways:

Specify an Address

If you know the address of your geographic location, use the stops command as shown in these examples:

stops 421 osborne street
stops 421 osborne st
stops 421 osborne
stops 421 osb

After you send the text message, BUStxt will reply with a message that lists the nearest stops to your address and the route numbers that serve each stop (if fewer than six routes service the stop). For example:

Stops close to 421 Osborne Street
10064 NB osborne@glasgow 16
10002 SB osborne@woodward 16

Specify a Street Intersection

If you know the street intersection of your geographic location, use the stops command as shown in these examples:

stops graham@donald
stops graham at don
stops gra@don

Be sure to type “@” or “at” between the names of the two intersecting streets

After you send the text message, BUStxt will reply with a message that lists the nearest stops to your intersection and the route numbers that serve each stop (if fewer than six routes service the stop). For example:

Stops close to Donald Street @ Graham Avenue
10614 wb Graham@Donald (24 routes)
10615 eb Graham@Donald (28 routes)
10670 sb Donald@Graham 65 66
10653 nb Smith@Graham 37 62 65 66 70

Specify a Landmark

If you know the name of a major landmark, use the stops command as shown in these examples:

stops city hall
stops mts centre
stops health sciences centre

After you send the text message, BUStxt will reply with a message that lists the closest stops to your landmark and the route numbers that serve each stop (if fewer than six routes service the stop). For example:

Stops close to City Hall (510 Main Street)
10788 eb James@Main 12
10634 sb Main@James (16 routes)
10629 nb Main@James (25 routes)
10635 sb Main@William (15 routes)
10657 nb King@William 3 12 29 65
10720 wb William@King 3 12 26

times Command:
Search for Bus Departure Times

If you want to find the bus departure times for routes serving a stop you specify, you can use the times command. BUStxt returns real-time information based on schedule updates automatically reported to the Transit Control Centre by our GPS-equipped buses.

There are four parts to the times command:

Part Item Mandatory
or
Optional
Comments
1 times Optional times is the default command for BUStxt, so you don’t have to type times in your text message.
2 Stop Number
or
Stop Description
Mandatory You must specify the stop for which you want bus times.
There are two options to specify your stop:

a) 5-Digit Stop Number (eg. 10064)
b) Stop Description (eg. eb portage@vaughan)


For Stop Description, you need to specify the direction of travel (eb for Eastbound, wb for Westbound, nb for Northbound, sb for Southbound) and the intersection at which the stop is located. Be sure to type @ or at between the two intersecting streets.
3 Requested Time Optional The time of day that you want BUStxt to report bus departure times at your specified stop. If you omit this, BUStxt reports bus departure times beginning at the current time. To specify a requested time, you can use the 12-hour clock (eg. 11am, 11:15am, 1115pm) or the 24-hour clock (eg. 1100, 1115, 23:15,2315).
4 Requested Routes Optional The specific routes for which you want BUStxt to report bus departure times at your specified stop. If you omit this, BUStxt reports bus departures for all routes that service the stop. Use the route number to specify each route. You can enter more than one route; use a space between each route number (eg. 14 54 58)

Here are some examples:

Example How BUStxt Interprets the Command
times sb main@william 1630 16 18 At what times will Route 16 and Route 18 depart the stop at sb main@william after 16:30?
10635 430pm 16 18 At what times will Route 16 and Route 18 depart stop 10635 (sb main@william) after 4:30 pm?
sb main@william At what times from right now will all routes serving the stop at sb main@william depart?
10635 At what times from right now will all routes serving stop 10635 (sb main@william) depart?

After you send the text message, BUStxt will reply with a message that lists the bus departures from your requested stop during the hour immediately following your requested time (or from the current time if you did not specify a requested time). For each bus departure, the message lists the departure time, the route number, and the destination of the bus. For example:

10635 sb Main@William
16:31 18 Tuxedo
16:33 16 Plaza Dr
16:39 18 Tuxedo
16:41 16 Kingston Row
16:46 18 Tuxedo
16:48 16 Island Lks
16:54 18 Tuxedo

bus Command:
Search for Information about a Bus’s Current Service

If you want to find information about the current service of a specific bus, you can use the bus command. For example, you can find out the time that the bus you are on will reach a location on its route, or where the bus will be at a time you specify. This feature can be particularly useful for letting friends know when you will be at a specific location, as well as helping you to plan transfers on the go.

There are three parts to the bus command:

Part Item Mandatory
or
Optional
Comments
1 bus Mandatory You must type the command bus
2 Bus Identification Number Mandatory You must specify the 3-digit bus identification number. When you are on the bus, you can see this number at the front, above the windshield and to the right of the driver. The number is also shown on the inside back wall of the bus and in several places on the outside of the bus.

Note that you need to type the bus identification number, not the route number, for this command.

3 Requested Time
or
Requested Location
Optional

If you type neither a Requested Time nor a Requested Location in the command, BUStxt will report the times the bus will reach its next major timing points.


If you type a Requested Time in the command, BUStxt will report the location the bus will reach at the requested time. To specify a requested time, you can use the 12-hour clock (eg. 11am, 11:15am, 1115pm) or the 24-hour clock (eg. 1100, 1115, 23:15,2315).


If you type a Requested Location in the command, BUStxt will report the estimated time that the bus will reach the requested location. To specify a requested location, you can enter one of:

a) 5-digit bus stop number
b) Address
c) Intersection
d) Landmark


See above for the way to format an address, intersection, or landmark.

Here are some examples:

Example How BUStxt Interprets the Command
bus 401 At what times will Bus 401 arrive at its next major timing points?
bus 401 1630 At what location will Bus 401 be at 16:30?
bus 401 10171 At what time will Bus 401 arrive at stop 10171 (Northbound Osborne@River)?
bus 401 osborne@morley At what time will Bus 401 arrive at the intersection of Osborne@Morley?
bus 401 421 osborne At what time will Bus 401 arrive at a stop close to 421 Osborne Street?
bus 401 mts centre At what time will Bus 401 arrive at a stop close to the MTS Centre?

After you send the text message, BUStxt will reply with a message similar to this:

At 16:30, bus 401 (Route 16) will be close to stop 10171 NB Osborne@River

NOTE: Auto Signatures for Texting

Some smartphones have a feature that allow you to attach a signature to all outgoing text messages. If this feature is active for your phone, a signature will be attached to messages that you send to BUStxt. This may result in an error message being returned to you.