Agency Alerts and Other New Features for OneBusAway on iPhone

Aaron Brethorst, lead developer for the OneBusAway iPhone app, recently announced a major new release, OneBusAway 18.2, now available on the App Store. This release includes a set of important new features as well as numerous bug fixes.  Three of these new features are:

  1. The Map Table: an easy way for riders to see all of the transit stops around them.
  2. Agency Alerts: a simple way for transit agencies to share breaking news.
  3. Siri Shortcuts: a quick way to access most-used transit stops. Siri works with OneBusAway to learn the rider’s favorite transit stops so that it can automatically recommend them from the lock and search screens.

Of particular interest to transit agencies may be the Agency Alerts feature, which allow agencies to quickly publish short, region-wide alerts that are then shown directly inside the Map Table in the app.  This feature is currently available only on iOS, but we are planning on adding it to Android as well.  Agency Alerts are implemented in compliance with the standard GTFS-RT specification.  In addition, for agencies that don’t (yet?) publish region-wide GTFS-RT alerts, and for cases when the OneBusAway server in a region is down and that needs to be communicated to riders, we have also provided an alternate mechanism for publishing these alerts via alerts.onebusaway.org.

Example alert about significant delays in downtown Seattle due to road closures

Example Agency Alert

Please see Aaron’s blog post for a complete description of these new features.  As always, OneBusAway for iPhone is available for free from the App Store, and the source code is on the iPhone app section of our GitHub repository.