People helping people as they get from here to there


Top 7 reasons your message did NOT get posted

August 31st, 2010  |  Published in admin

We know full well that the success of this service depends on that committed minority that actually does the sharing…and I appreciate your participation and your trust. I value your feedback…and want to hear from you if you think we can improve Clever Commute (feedback at  clevercommute-dot-com)

Regarding your messages: if you follow our “best practices ” (AKA “rules of the road”)…there should be no problem

But…in the spirit of David Letterman, here are the top 7 reasons why it may be the case that you actually _sent_ a message to your community on Clever Commute…but it did NOT go through.

1. You signed up with one e-mail address (e.g., your work address)…but you sent your note from another (e.g., your home address). YOU’D BE AMAZED how often this happens.

2. Your note contained a question (even if part of your message contains “a statement”). We’ve got over 20,000 people in this network…so in order to avoid a mail storm, all questions (even rhetorical) are a no-no.

3. Your note contained something that was not constructive (e.g., “thanks NJ Transit!”). Put another way: would you expect to hear/see your message on a news report?

4. Non-suitable language  / Profanity (and we use that term liberally)

5. Your mail is not original content (e.g. you “forward” or “reply” to another message)

6. Our technology determined that another rider on your line already shared info about this particular issue
(not to fear, if you really have more/better info to add, our technology “writes to you”…and tells you how you can indeed get your message out – more info here:

7. You’re new here – We immediately make you a recipient of all the alerts on your line…but it’s a few weeks  until you can send. That gives you some time to get a feel for the zen of this group…learn the ropes.

Overall – think about it this way: the best messages are ones that help the other commuters make real-time decisions about their commute. If your message is one of those…then great. If not…it may get held for review…or not sent at all.

Twitter? Sure! Show me the “follows”

August 31st, 2010  |  Published in admin, social

There is a single Twitter member (follow) corresponding to each commuter line we cover.

In addition to sending out alerts to our traditional subscribers via e-mail, we also tweet them.
So, by following those tweets, you will receive all of the alerts published by your fellow commuters.

Of course…you can use whatever Twitter follow tool you like. Your smartphone probably already has one installed.

Therefore…you can then receive the alerts however you want…even text/SMS!

NOTE: Our tweets are protected…so the first step is a request-to-follow.

Transit Carrier Line / Route Twitter “Follow”
Coach USA / Suburban Transit East Brunswick Lines cc_cusa_eb
DeCamp 33 & 66 cc_Decamp_33_66
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Montauk Branch cc_lirr_m
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Oyster Bay Branch cc_lirr_ob
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Babylon Branch cc_lirr_b
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Port Jefferson Branch cc_lirr_pj
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Far Rockaway Branch cc_lirr_fr
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Port Washington Branch cc_lirr_pw
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Ronkonkoma Branch cc_lirr_r
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Hempstead Branch cc_lirr_h
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) West Hempstead Branch cc_lirr_wh
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Long Beach Branch cc_lirr_lb
Metro North (MNR) New Haven Line cc_mnr_nh
Metro North (MNR) Hudson Line cc_mnr_hud
Metro North (MNR) Harlem Line cc_mnr_har
Metro North (MNR) Bar Car cc_mnr_bar_nh
Metro North (MNR) Bar Car (reverse) cc_mnr_bar_nh_r
Metro North (MNR) New Canaan Branch cc_mnr_nh_nc
Metro North (MNR) Danbury Branch cc_mnr_nh_d
Metro North (MNR) Waterbury Branch cc_mnr_nh_w
NJ Transit Bus (NJTB) (193, 194, 197) Willowbrook Mall Park and Ride cc_njtb_19x
NJ Transit Bus (NJTB) (167) Dumont – Harrington Park cc_njtb_167
NJ Transit Train (NJTT) Pascack Valley Line cc_njtt_pvl
NJ Transit Train (NJTT) Gladstone & Morristown Lines cc_njtt_mande
NJ Transit Train (NJTT) Port Jervis Line cc_njtt_port
NJ Transit Train (NJTT) Montclair-Boonton Line cc_njtt_mbntn
NJ Transit Train (NJTT) Raritan Valley Line cc_njtt_rvl
NJ Transit Train (NJTT) Main & Bergen County Lines cc_njtt_mainb
NJ Transit Train (NJTT) North Jersey Coast Line cc_njtt_njcl
NJ Transit Train (NJTT) Northeast Corridor Line cc_njtt_nec
PATH Journal Square – 33rd Street cc_path_jsq_33
PATH Newark – World Trade Center cc_path_nwk_wtc
PATH Hoboken – 33rd Street cc_path_hob_33
PATH Hoboken – World Trade Center cc_path_hob_wtc
SeaStreak Atlantic Highlands cc_ss_ah
Staten Island Ferry Staten Island Ferry cc_sif
Trans-Bridge Lines Allentown/Easton NJ cc_tb_a

Twitter? What’s that?

August 31st, 2010  |  Published in admin, social

Clever Commute was originally designed for use on a true mobile e-mail device (e.g., Blackberry, iPhone)…not a cell phone.
We previously did a work-around by sending e-mail to your phone (e.g.,
But now that Twitter is here…we have a new and better way:

So…here is what you should do if you want to improve your experience with Clever Commute.

Learn about Twitter (e.g., this video prepared by another company)

Put plainly: Clever Commute is leveraging existing Twitter infrastructure in order to allow for new ways for people like you to follow the updates from commuters on their line.
So what remains in order to get you up-and-running? For example, in order to follow someone whose Twitter name is crandcrand

  1. Login to Twitter…and then enter this address:
  2. Click on the Follow button near the top of the page
  3. Now that you are following the member you want to follow, you may want to
  4. Check out this list…and pick your line(s)

(FYI – not all routes currently available)

Clever Commute on your cell phone / smartphone (Twitter)

August 29th, 2010  |  Published in admin, announcements, community updates

In order to allow you to receive Clever Commute updates on your cell phone, we have formed a strategic partnership with a remarkable on-line service called Twitter. Please read on…but select the proper link…and then come back to this site for a few key points. So… are you

(1) YES – I know what Twitter is. Show me the details
(2) Twitter? What’s that?

Key Points for everyone:

  • The Twitter approach is still an experiment. Please consider it beta.
  • For now, you will not be able to SEND messages to Clever Commute from Twiiter.
  • Twitter gives you the tools you need to protect your privacy and control your “sharing” options
  • Please consider making a donation to Clever Commute in order to help us defray the costs to build and maintain this new functionality. Since SMS users can not currently share updates…and we can no longer send you sponsored messages…the fundamentals of our relationship (and our fledgling business model) will change. We would therefore appreciate you sending us a contribution. $25/year would be great…but anything is appreciated.

What Track is my train on?

May 27th, 2010  |  Published in admin, announcements, MNR, NJT

The idea: What track is my train on?  delivered to your inbox! (for NJ Transit Trains from Penn Station and Metro North Trains from Grand Central)

More info

  • How to sign up:
    a. Go to
    b. Click on Find your line
    c. Change Select provider type to Trains (track numbers)
    d. Select your carrier and line
    e. Fill in the required info and you should be all set once we OK your request.
    f. Sign up for as many as you’d like
  • Special note for NJ Transit riders:
    It seems that there is some cross-listing of trains between the 4 lines that run to NYP. So…
    If you are looking to sign up for certain Gladstone/Morristown line trains…you might have to look on “Montclair/Boonton” (and vice versa)
    If you are looking to sigh up for certain “North Jersey Coast Line” trains…you might have to look on “Northeast Corrodor” (and vice versa)
  • It’s beta.  We have given a lot of thought and time to the idea and the programming, but you should definitely verify that you are on the right train ;) We will listen to your feedback and do our best to enhance it based on what you say

Where Clever Communicator Needs Help (today – day-to-day ops)

January 4th, 2010  |  Published in admin

  1. Follow up on messages sent from subscribers…but from the “wrong” address
    (e.g., they signed up with a work e-mail….but sent from a non-work e-mail)
  2. Coach / Remind / Thank people regarding proper use of the service
  3. Follow up with people who started the sign-up…but did not finish / confirm
  4. Setup for people that use SMS / text messaging
  5. Support the process of customer service / FAQ
  6. Run monthly metrics / reporting on growth (# messages, # subscribers)
  7. Monitor the web/blogosphere/news for references to Clever Commute
  8. Follow-up with anyone who “unsubscribes” (get their feedback)

Welcome New Members!

March 10th, 2009  |  Published in admin, welcome

Welcome to all the riders who learned about Clever Commute via the stories on WNBC or CNN/

There is still plenty of room to grow…and the value of these communities increases as more people join. Please share the good news of Clever Commute. You have joined a community that gives you the ability to help (and receive help from) your fellow passengers. All of the “alerts” and “advisories” will come from YOU…and are sent directly to your fellow commuters (on your line).

  • Your should have received a “Welcome” mail. Please make note of the one e-mail address you need for the train line your ride (You can always reach CleverCommute staff via the website)
  • Please make your messages to the group
    (1) constructive and
    (2) factual (share statements about what you see/know
    Please share (info) …and don’t ask (questions of the group)
  • The recent media attention has indeed caused a “growth spurt” in our membership…so there will be some growing pains I’m sure…but we’ll get through it together.
  • Follow this link to a few bullet points on “best practices”

Thanks for making this happen. Let’s hope for a smooth commute.

-Conductor Josh

About last night (the storm on December 19th)

December 20th, 2008  |  Published in admin, announcements, community updates, examples

Here are some facts:

  • 94 different messages were sent
  • 59 different senders sent the messages
  • 13 different routes had people helping out

Overall…we’re pleased with the way people helped each other out…and the way that the system held up. We had a slew of people signing up before the storm…and we thank each of you for referring your fellow commuter to Clever Commute.
In the spirit of continuous improvement, here is what we see as our homework:

  • Re-evaluate the format of the ads / sponsored messages. While we value the revenue they provide, we are always looking at ways to streamline things further.
  • Making things better for people who use their cell phones. If that is you, then please read this post

There’ll be more messy weather ahead…considering that this storm happened before the official start of Winter!



A time of giving…from Clever Commute to you (new features)

November 30th, 2008  |  Published in admin, community updates

As of Monday, December 1, we will start phasing in some exciting changes to Clever Commute. For now, we expect that the only changes you can actually “see” will be for the better. Here is an overview of what is going on:

(1) Improved messages in your inbox:

(a) Cleaner content – In order to help protect your privacy and improve quality/readability of the “alerts,” we have implemented a new real-time process to strip out extra content…and leave you with “just the facts”.
(b) Better “footers”  – they will now contain “Did you know?”-style updates from Clever Commute (us) to you. These are separate from the actual alerts that are sent by your fellow commuters. So, please look for the new tips at the bottom of the mails.

(2) Sponsorship opportunities coming soon – As we have shared in the past, it’s key for us to keep Clever Commute free-to-use by commuters. Our business model continues to evolve…and we have received consistent feedback from you that an advertising-based model would be a suitable solution. We are in the final stages of planning to support this approach.

If you are an advertiser interested in connecting with the Clever Commute ridership, please look for the updates we have posted at our blog

(3) Lots more! – In the next few weeks, you’ll be hearing about several new products and services which include

  • more/better choices for text messaging / SMS
  • RSS feeds and widgets
  • Integration with Twitter and similar services

So…if you see anything out of the ordinary on Monday and beyond, please let us know (feedback -at- clevercommute dot com). Note that we’ve done some very rigorous testing…and will be closely monitoring things as well.


Conductor Josh

Clever Commute as an Advertising Platform

October 31st, 2008  |  Published in admin

Clever Commute is in the process of enhancing its offerings as an advertising platform.

As you likely know, Clever Commute provides the means for commuters to provide real-time help to each other. The Clever Commute audience is a coveted demographic that can generally be described as

  • middle-to-upper class
  • college / advanced degrees
  • homeowners
  • white-collar
  • middle / later career professionals
  • affluent
  • homeowner
  • tech-savvy

Presenting several ways for you to reach our community

1. Via the messages already sent among the commuters

Your message appears alongside the alerts sent by the travelers.

Options include:

  • You decide which routes (e.g., LIRR, Metro North) and which lines (e.g., Port Washington, Montauk, etc)
  • Static or rotating messages (these alternating messages may be exclusively yours…or rotate your ads with other advertisers)
  • Time-of-day insertion (e.g., morning rush or evening rush)

Pricing: By the impression (CPM)

2. Dedicated direct mailing

Clever Commute will run an e-mail-based promotion to our audience with your message.

Your dedicated message will reach thousands of unique recipients at a date and time of your choosing

Pricing: By the impression (CPM)

3. Overall sponsorship of Clever Commute

This is effectively associating your branding with our product. (e.g., similar to WCBS880 radio…where the helicopter-based traffic reports are the “McDonald’s chopper 880″ updates).

Each alert to all commuters in a given market will contain your message and branding.

Pricing: Negotiated based on scope, duration