Monday, March 5

Exciting service for getting transit information

Greetings. Dadnab is an exciting new service where you can obtain information about current or upcoming transit schedules via text message. The way it works is you message a certain address and then you can write in a number of things. For instance, in Austin, I can write "4th and Congress to 49 and Grover by 3:30," and after 45-60 seconds, I would get information on the next bus going that direction and appropriate times. The service is free, provided you're in a text messaging plan with your cell provider. Otherwise, normal rates apply, which are 10 cents per message you send or receive. There is a demonstration of the service on the Dadnab site. Currently, the service is in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Boston, Chicago, and Seattle. I attended a meeting this afternoon at the transit authority of Austin (Capitol Metro), where all this was laid out.

This is a great idea. I can see definite uses for this, like for instance, you're at the bus stop and want to know the next time for a route, but don't want to fight through the voice response system or you don't want to wait on hold for who knows how long. Instead, you can simply pull out your cellphone and send a text message for the information. Though it is not in many cities yet, there are plans to expand to other parts of the country, such places in the Northeast. Aside from the cost of a text message, for a blind person, the only things necessary are a cellphone and the software to access the phone, like Talks or Mobile Speak.

The Dadnab site has more information, including special numbers or instructions based on what carrier you use. Check it out and enjoy.

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