About Real-Time Departures
With real-time information now available on all AC Transit bus lines except for supplementary service lines (600 series), you’ll be able to manage your time more efficiently and avoid waiting for the bus longer than you need to. Unlike static schedules, Real-Time Departures, provided by NextBus, uses GPS satellite technology and takes into account traffic conditions to track and predict when your bus will be at your stop.
New Bus Stop ID Program
When accessing Real-Time Departures, you can get your prediction time faster by using bus stop ID numbers. Each stop is assigned a unique five-digit number to use as a short-cut when making a Real-Time Departure request. To find out your bus stop ID number(s), click here. Eventually, ID number decals will be posted at all AC Transit bus stops.
Real-Time Departures at Your Fingertips!
There are lots of cool and convenient ways to access Real-Time Departures:
- Call 511 and say “Departure Times” to request a real-time departure prediction. For faster service, have your bus stop ID number ready. If you don’t know the ID number, you will be prompted to use the automated backup help system to hear your departure time and learn your bus stop ID number.
- Text in a real-time prediction request to 511. As with calling, having your bus stop ID number on hand will speed up the process. (You may incur text message charges depending on your phone plan.)
- Schedule e-mail alerts to be notified when your bus is a specified number of minutes away from your preferred stop.
- Check your computer for real-time information from the comfort and security of your home or office.
- Use your smart phone to view a web version optimized for small screens and wireless devices.
- Use Google Maps to plan a trip with real-time information taken into account.
- Check your market for mobile apps. Before downloading any app, please review to make sure you get what you want. AC Transit does not sell or license these applications.
You can also view Real-Time Departures on the electronic signs at the following locations:
- Shelter stops along AC Transit’s Rapid lines 1R and 72R
- Downtown Berkeley and Fruitvale BART stations
- Ardenwood Park & Ride Lot in Fremont
- Transbay Temporary Terminal in downtown San Francisco
- Coming Soon! Eastmont Transit Center in Oakland
How Accurate Are Real-Time Departure Predictions?
For most riders, Real-Time Departures is a valuable tool for planning bus trips. While AC Transit expects most predictions to be accurate, the technology is very complex and relies on multiple systems, on and off the bus, to work together. Therefore, riders may occasionally experience inaccurate arrival times when one system fails to communicate with the others. Real-Time Departures uses historical data to help predict arrival times. When a bus line has a significant route change, it may take some time for the system to recalibrate its predictions and provide the most accurate information.
AC Transit relies on rider feedback to improve service, so if you are using Real-Time Departures, please share your experiences, good or bad, by contacting our team via our web form or by calling 511 and saying “AC Transit” to speak to a Telephone Information Center representative.
Real-Time Departure Data
AC Transit’s Real Time data is now available for third-party use in the following ways.