People helping people as they get from here to there

announcements

Advocacy and Action for NJ Transit riders

July 31st, 2015  |  Published in announcements

NOTE: Clever Commute is not affiliated with NJ-ARP. We are sharing this info as a service to our customers. 

Oftentimes, people look to Clever Commute to do something about the conditions on their transit providers. However, we simply don’t have the resources to do more. Even if we did, it’s not immediately clear that this is where we are uniquely qualified.

However, if you ride NJ Transit, you should know about the New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers – NJ-ARP.

NJ-ARP is the leading rail passenger organization in New Jersey and a not-for-profit corporation established in 1980 by concerned New Jersey residents who wanted a greater voice in deciding their transit future.

In Summer of 2015, they published A Plea to Americans who ask “Why Should I Care about Hudson River Rail Tunnels Between NJ and NY?” 

It’s a good read…with a call-to-action to make changes.  So, if you are looking to do something…then one idea is to start by learning about the NJ-ARP.

 

Getaway Day Advice: July 4 Weekend 2015

June 28th, 2015  |  Published in announcements

As a service to commuters, we provide this getaway advice for those who are exiting NYC (via public transit) for the July 4 holiday. Read on for: 

  1. A look back at 2014: What happened on “The day before the July 4 weekend last year?”
  2. Clever Commute’s “FIVE T’s” – the key to a stress-free commute on get-away day.

(1) What happened on “The day before the July 4 weekend last year?”

Commuter Trains Summary 

  • As usual, train riders from Grand Central had an easier “go” of things versus NY Penn Station riders
  • NY Penn Station riders reported VERY crowded conditions (in the station, ticket lines and on the trains) as early as 1:15 PM.
  • Trains stayed crowded until approx 4:00 PM

Bus Summary – Slow going between 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM. Surprisingly good commute after that.

——

(2) Clever Commute’s “FIVE T’s” – the key to a stress-free commute on get-away Thursday for July 4, 2015:

1. Tickets – tickets..TicketsTICKETSGet them early!
If you or your traveling companion will need a ticket, get it BEFORE Thursday. Lines are loooooong on get-away days.
HINT: NJ Transit now has an app for tickets. So does NY Waterway! See your app store for details. 

2. Timing is crucial
You are advised to avoid NY Penn/Grand Central/Port Authority between 1:00 and 3:00 PM.
We expect a surge of commuters at that time.

3. Timetables and Schedule changes 
Visit your transit provider’s web site for up-to-date schedule schedules….including information about (extra) getaway day service

4. Terminal – Choose wisely
If it is at all within your control, avoid NY Penn Station.

  • NJT riders should consider Hoboken and/or Newark Penn
  • LIRR riders:  try Atlantic Terminal

5. Other Tips: 

  • Dress in layers – even if it’s not a hot day…the terminal or the trains can be warm
  • Bring water/snacks – save time…save money. Plan ahead.
  • “Baggage strategy” matters – There is going to be lots of luggage around on Thursday.
    Make your plan now…NOT on Thursday morning.

Have a great holiday!

Spring – new beginnings

April 5th, 2015  |  Published in announcements, App

The one-liner: we are eliminating the old, free e-mail-based service…and replacing it with two options to receive your Clever Commute information.  [Note: It is indeed still possible to receive your alerts as e-mails].

A large number of Clever Commuters have cut over to use the new free app. It provides all the functionality of the old way…and we are thrilled to hear what people are saying about it.

Last month, we stopped supporting any new sign-up requests for the old e-mail based way.
As of April 30, we will no longer offer a free, e-mail-based solution. Commuters have two options:

  1. The free app – It works on iPhones, iPad, Android devices and even some Blackberries.
  2. Our premium service [The Inside Track] – It has all of the features of the old free service (including e-mail delivery)…as well as 30+ other incredible utilities.
    The current promotion is that the $39.99 annual price is reduced to $29.99 for the first year.
    There are actually 6 ways you can get it for free!

Over the last two months, as we mange the migration to the app, we have heard two key pieces of feedback:

  1. Some users want to continue to receive their information as e-mail
  2. Some users want to follow information on multiple train/bus lines

The Inside Track solves for both of these challenges…and SO much more. It gives you an e-mail experience which is worlds better than the old free service. Use our mobile web site to view data as well as set your delivery preferences. Messages are delivered faster and more-reliably. They also have the the alert in the subject line of the e-mail (you may not even need to open them!). The message body has an enhanced format for readability. Also, you can hide/block messages based on category (or sender).
You have full control over when you receive the messages (e.g., time-of-day, day-of-week). You can pause/resume/snooze your alert messages, as well. You can even elect to receive your messages as text messagesFeatures vary by provider (e.g. LIRR vs NJT vs Metro North)…but you also get:

  • Track prediction / Track History – Use our algorithm to beat the crowds
  • Train performance metricsHow punctual is your evening train?
  • The ability to find trains which have been removed from the departure board – (Shhh…Did you know?)
  • See the geolocation of the alerts (shows each message on a map) and trains
  • And a daily Commuter Forecast for your evening commute

Final note: The Inside Track is not yet an app. However, we are in the process of moving all of the The Inside Track features into the app. Therefore, over the next few months, we’ll migrate functionality from the mobile web into the app…and it will be provide there as an in-app-purchase.

Regarding the “nickname” field in the app

March 15th, 2015  |  Published in announcements, App

Overview: if you’d like to change the nickname you selected in your Clever Commute profile, please use the Contact option and let us know of the change. The request can be very simple. Example:
OLD: StevenBrinniker
NEW: EasyRider

More info:
When you signed up for Clever Commute, there is a note near the nickname field which lets you know that Clever Commute may share that handle with fellow commuters. A future enhancement to our app will show the nickname of the rider alongside the actual alert they sent. The exact layout is not finalized, but it will be something like this: “EasyRider: Signal problems at Secaucus are causing delays to NYP”

Therefore, if your current nickname exposes more info about your identity than you’d like, please use the steps above to request a change.

Reminder: your nickname must be between 3 and 13 characters in length. It can not be offensive (e.g., profanity), confusing to commuters (e.g. “LIRR_Mgt”) or otherwise unsuitable.

Announcing The Clever Commute app: please spread the news…and vote for us

February 13th, 2015  |  Published in announcements, App

Please

  1. Check out our new FREE apps for iPhone/iPad/Android
  2. Share the news / Share this post 
  3. Vote for us to win the MTA’s AppQuest app contest 

———

More info about the app:

  • All the features of our legacy e-mail approach…and we are still adding more bells and whistles
  • Yes – push notification
  • Lots of people are using it right now
  • Available in your app store…or learn more at clevercommute.com/app

More info about the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (MTA) contest – AppQuest 

  • There is traditional / formal judging by a panel
  • There is also a Popular Choice category…and winning that would really help us get the word out
  • Please vote for us via this link

 For the visual folks:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More data = more options = less stress

August 18th, 2014  |  Published in announcements, Inside Track

What is going on: Our premium service, The Inside Track, goes well beyond simple crowdsourcing. Recently, we began rolling out new feeds of information which comes directly from NJ Transit, Metro North and LIRR.

Why is the info not in the subject line? (e.g., why does it say “[NJTT-NEC] New “Travel Alert” from NJ Transit”)
Short answer: Size.
We can’t control the length of these alerts…and they vary widely. To avoid chopping off part of the message, we put the “payload” in the body of the mail. We gave these messages a distinguishable subject (and differentiated them from subject we use for the free service).

 What you can do if you DO NOT want to receive all these messages:

We are pleased to report that you have at least 4 options.
  1. Be sure your time-of-day and day-of-week settings are accurate (to only get messages during your commute) (see how)
  2. Block these messages entirely by blocking the sender (see how)
  3. Block some of the messages by filtering by category (see how)
  4. Use your e-mail program / device to build a filter on your side (some technical skill required)
As a commuter once said: Commuting is a game…and you win it with information. Let me decide what I want to use.
We agree. Therefore, we make these alerts available to you…and give you controls so that you can manage the flow.

 

Our datasources (it’s more than crowdsourced)

July 25th, 2014  |  Published in announcements, documentation, Inside Track, techdoc

The beauty of Clever Commute is that we offer riders the full “360 degree” view of their commute…with control over how/when the information is delivered to them.

Clever Commute originally started as a crowdsoucing company…but we have gone well beyond that. Here is a closer look:

  1. User-generated content – We have tens of thousands of commuters who give you a first-hand look at what is happening on your commute. Our technology cleanses, curates, and removes duplicate messages in order to be sure that you get the most benefit from the wisdom of the crowds.
  2. Official Information from the Transit Providers – Our technology talks to theirs…and you benefit.  Through a variety of interfaces, we make it simple for you to access the data from your carrier. You no longer need to sign up with them.
  3. Social Media – We scour the web for the best info for you. Sometimes it comes directly from your carrier. Sometimes it comes from others who share our passion for actionable commuter info. But it’s always information about your commute. So it doesn’t matter if (for example) you are on Twitter or not. We fetch it and deliver it to you per your preferences.
  4. Historical – No one has more data than we do. Clever Commute was founded in 2008. That gives us years of context and history about every commute in the areas we serve. We use that data to provide you with the best information
  5. Algorithms – Data is interesting…but it’s fascinating when you do things with it. We have deep knowledge of the issues on each of the carriers we serve, so we know what triggers the events / alerts / tips which help you. You won’t find this anywhere else.

The best part: you are in control!

Every person and commuting pattern is different. Users of our premium service (The Inside Track) can opt-in/out of the above as they’d like. You can also select the time-of-day and  day-of-week that you want to receive notifications.  You can pause your notifications when you are on vacation. You can even hit snooze and let us know when you’d like to resume.

 

Clever Commute LIRR Strike Command Center

July 15th, 2014  |  Published in announcements, LIRR, media

Welcome! Clever Commute is the #1 source of information about mass-transit commuting. We are an on-line service, offering free and premium products for commuters…and B2B services for the media / enterprise.
Here is a link to all the resources you may need

Just for fun: Clever vent (a way for the commuters to let off a little steam) – http://clevercommute.com/vent

Official info from MTA

LIRR Strike Info – Real Time Datafeeds of Commuter alerts

July 14th, 2014  |  Published in announcements, LIRR, media

Welcome! The links below give you real-time access to the alerts which are being shared by LIRR commuters!
These are industry-standard XML feeds which you can view in any RSS reader.

Please visit the Clever Commute LIRR Strike Command Center for more resources.

Please note:

  • Here is a link to technical info about the feeds
  • These links contain 7 days of rolling information
  • Some have more information than others…and are listed in rough order of volume.
  • These links will expire on 31-July. Contact us if you like to see them beyond that day.

In order to save bandwith here, we don’t list out the full URL. Rather, you need build the URL’s. It’s simple!
For each branch, take the suffix in the right column, and append it to
the URL “http://www.clevercommute.com/rss/?url=”

Example: For “Test Branch”, the web address would be:
http://www.clevercommute.com/rss/?url=media-lirr-test-branch 

Branch Name Suffix
Test Branch media-lirr-test-branch
Ronkonkoma media-lirr-ronkonkoma
Babylon media-lirr-babylon
Port Jefferson media-lirr-port-jefferson
Port Washington media-lirr-port-washington
Far Rockaway media-lirr-far-rockaway
Hempstead media-lirr-hempstead
Long Beach media-lirr-long-beach
Montauk media-lirr-montauk
Oyster Bay media-lirr-oyster-bay
West Hempstead media-lirr-west-hempstead

LIRR Workarounds

July 13th, 2014  |  Published in announcements, LIRR, media

In the event of an LIRR strike, we have crowdsourced these alternative ways to get to/from NYC. Please continue to share via the Contact feature of our web site.

Please visit the Clever Commute LIRR Strike Command Center for more resources.

These are options above and beyond the MTA’s contingency plan. Some of the private carriers take/require reservations

  • 7Bus – Serves Riverhead, Ronkonkoma, and Melville
  • Bolt Bus – Serves Riverhead, Ronkonkoma and Huntington
  • Go Bus – Serves Glen Cove and Roslyn
  • NICE Bus – Many locations
  • Hampton Jitney – Serves Amagansett, East Hampton, Wainscott, Bridgehampton, Water Mill, Southampton, and Manorville
  • Hampton Luxury Liner – Serves Amagansett, East Hampton, Wainscott, Bridgehampton, Water Mill, and Southampton
  • The Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company – Take the ferry across the Sound…and catch Metro North. Special rates.
  • MTA Bus – North Shore LIRR riders, the N20, N21, Q12 buses go to Flushing Queens where you can take the # 7 subway
  • Other MTA Buses (credit: LI Press)
    • Take the n20/21 bus to the 7 line at Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue in Flushing.
    • Take the n31/32 bus or the n33 bus to the A line on Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway.
    • Take the n4 bus to the E, J, and Z lines at the Jamaica Center on Parsons Boulevard and Archer Avenue in Jamaica.
    • Take the n1 bus, the n6 bus, the n22/A bus, the n24 bus, or the n26 bus to the F line at 179 Street and Hillside Avenue in Jamaica.

Related resources: