November 15th, 2016 |
As a service to commuters, we provide this getaway advice for those who are exiting NYC (via public transit) for the Thanksgiving holiday. Read on for:
- A look back at 2015: “What was ‘the witching hour’ last year?” (HINT: It starts at 1:30 PM)
- Clever Commute’s “SIX T’s” – the key to a stress-free commute on getaway day
|A Lookback: 2015 Thanksgiving Eve Summary
- As usual, train riders from Grand Central had an easier “go” of things versus NY Penn Station riders
- Riders reported crowds as early as 1:30 PM ….and things stayed busy until at least 5:30 PM
- There were no material train incidents reported after 5:30 PM
- Riders to NJ experienced delays due to a water main break in Hoboken
- Travel at Port Authority was disrupted by a suspicious package.
Believe it or not: You are in control !
Here are six things you can do for a smooth getaway…
OK, that’s a bit cheeky. But do you seriously need to go to the office?
Do this: Use the time between now and Tuesday to line up tasks/calls that can be done remotely on Wednesday.
2. Tickets – tickets..Tickets…TICKETS. Get them early!
If you or your traveling companion will need a ticket, purchase it now.
Lines will be loooooong and stations will be crowded on Wednesday afternoon.
Do this: NJ Transit, Metro North and LIRR all have ticket apps.
Spend a few minutes now to install and set up your account.
3. Timetables and Schedule changes
There are websites (e.g., NJ Transit, Metro North, LIRR) as well as apps galore with info about schedules
(including extra getaway day service).
Do this: Plan ahead…and even think of a backup plan.
4. Timing is crucial
We expect this year’s commuting pattern to be similar to last year.
Do this: Plan your departure time carefully. Even if there is extra service, there will be crowds…and it’s all first-come-first-served.
5. 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
6. Other Tips:
- Dress in layers – The terminal or the trains can be warm…especially when crowded.
- Bring water/snacks – Save time…save money.
- “Baggage strategy” matters – There is not a lot of room on the train/bus.
- Make your plan now – Do NOT wait until Wednesday morning to start thinking about this.
November 14th, 2016 |
- Fixes and enhancements for stability and security
November 7th, 2016 |
- Improve / Streamline Twitter integration
- Improve the end-user experience when cell/wifi signal is weak
- Update Profile page for better user control of their data
- Improve the look-and-feel of Recent Alerts
- Premium users now have better colors / fonts on Recent Alerts
- Rail Warriors now have more options for target audience
- Improve the logic which curates and shares UGC
Plus various other fixes and enhancements for stability and security
October 25th, 2016 |
- Make the menus look the same (main vs submenu)
- Change category to “Vent” for unsavory postings
- Add a “Days of History” slider to the Track Predictor
- Internationalize the Zip Code
- New choices for Rail Warriors target audiences
Plus various other fixes and enhancements for security and stability
October 21st, 2016 |
Overview: In order to be able to serve you best, we’re rebalancing the portfolio of products we offer to commuters.
What’s going away:
- Free e-mail-based send/receive of messages
- Our old premium offering, which we called The Inside Track
[Note: It is indeed still possible to receive your alerts as e-mails. Please read on].
Your call to action: (1) cut-over to the free app and (2) unsubscribe from the old listserve way
More Info: In the 18 months since we put out the first version of the app, we have invested mightily in getting to the point where we can say it’s time to move all remaining users from e-mail to the app (what people are saying about the app).
The free app does so much more than the old e-mail service. Plus, it works on iPhones, iPad, Android devices and even some Blackberries.
As we manged the customer migration to the app, we heard about two features that some riders want:
- Continue to receive their information as e-mail
- Follow the information on multiple train/bus lines
If you are still hungry for those and other features, then check out Clever Commute Premium. As a lifelong commuter (and 20 years on NJ Transit’s Montclair Boonton Line) I can say with confidence that our Premium service provides what you are looking for.
Premium does much more than #1 and #2. Yes – it gives you an enhanced e-mail experience where messages are delivered faster and more-reliably. You 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 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.
A few closing notes on Clever Commute Premium
- It is sold as an in-app purchase via your app store
- There is a 30-day free trial
- There are at least 8 ways to be eligible for free access to Premium
October 17th, 2016 |
- Are you in that small percentage of Clever Commuters who share the info which powers our crowdsourced offering?
- Have you ever thought I have something to share with fellow commuters…but it is actually of interest to more than just the people on my route?
Yes and Yes? Then we have a solution for you!
If you meet our criteria, we can promote you to Rail Warrior
. These are the folks who have distinguished themselves through leading by example (learn more about the other badges
What can a Rail Warrior do?
For starters, we give delivery priority to messages from Rail Warriors.
Then, in addition to being able to continue to send messages to folks on their own commuting route, they also have the ability send a message that goes directly to a wide audience.
|If your primary route is…
||You can send to…
|A NJT train
||All 4 Midtown Direct Routes
All NJT Train commuters
|A LIRR train
||All LIRR Branches
|A Metro North train
||All MNR Branches
|A NJ Bus
||All NJ Buses
The Rail Warrior user sets the Audience via new options which we unlock only for them!
October 16th, 2016 |
The headline: Please upgrade to version 2.2.3 of the free app in order to benefit from two amazing enhancements. (To learn more about your version and how to upgrade, then click here)
More Info: When our free app went live less than two years ago, we promised you that we would keep on enhancing it. Since then, we have literally made thousands of changes and fixes…and we are far from done. Our latest version is a bit of a watershed since it provides 2 new capabilities
- Rail Warriors can send broadcast alerts – There is a subset of Clever Commuters who are amazing sharers (quality and quantity). We have promoted them to Rail Warrior so that they can now share info on more than one line/route at time.
Example: A Rail Warrior at NY Penn station sees something which is of interest to all riders on LIRR (or NJ Transit…or even both!) can now share with all.
- Automated (re) sharing – After 11 years of running Clever Commute, we know what kind of information is of interest to the various rider communities. Starting with version 2.2.3, whenever something is shared which we feel you need to know about our new technology will automatically share it with those who would value it (regardless of which route it originated on)
Example: A NJ Transit rider reports single tracking. Our “robots” will then share that with all NJ Transit train riders.
|These are two big wins for commuters. However, you need to be running version 2.2.3 to benefit properly.
October 10th, 2016 |
- Improved Track Predictions
- Add “voting” / validation to track predictions
- Visual cues to identify messages sent to more than one route
- Enhanced automated curation and sharing for similar routes
- Suppress multiple self-mails from elevated senders
- Leaderboard metrics fixes
- Fix problems with iOS Push Nortifications experienced by some on some devices
October 9th, 2016 |
Monday morning’s commute has the potential to be a challenging one. The saving grace is that it’s a holiday for some.
If you ride NJ Transit: We highly suggest you pay attention to the excellent work of two advocacy organizations: The NJ Association of Railroad Passengers and the The Lakawana Coalition.
The later has compiled an excellent and detailed analysis of the return of NJT service at Hoboken.
If you ride LIRR: their web site will be the best place for up-to-date info about service in light of their accident over the weekend
- Please continue to use our free app to send and browse the latest crowdsourced alerts
- Did you know? You also have the option to receive the alerts via Twitter!
- Your feedback is important to us. Good, bad or otherwise, we love to hear your thoughts and ideas
October 2nd, 2016 |
To see the status of NJ Transit service (including news about cross-honoring):
Users of the free Clever Commute app are always encouraged to share actionable info to help their fellow commuters.
New Clever Commute App Features