People helping people as they get from here to there

Advocacy for Commuters

March 15th, 2017  |  Published in announcements

We built the Clever Commute service and app because we knew that we could apply technology and community to improve the commute.

If you are interested in broader advocacy on behalf of the riders, then please check out these organizations.

While we do enjoy working relationshsips with most of these organizations, Clever Commute is not affilaited with any of them (Nor are we affilaited with any of the transit providers.)

New Jersey Metro North LIRR
TransitCenter

Tri-State Transporation Campaign

Save US Transit

 

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How to Send an Alert

March 5th, 2017  |  Published in announcements

This is a write up of how to use one of the many features of the Clever Commute service. See also:


 

 User-generated content is a very important part of Clever Commute. Here is information on how to send an alert.

Please start by familiarizing yourself with our best practices and how Clever is different from Twitter

Every member of the Clever Commute community who is in good standing is permitted and encouraged to share info with their fellow passengers. Start by opening the app, and selecting Send An Alert from the main menu.

  1. The Issue – Pick the most-suitable category for your alert. Most categories are straight-forward, but there are a few exceptions (Check-in/Share location, I just want to vent, Lost and Found, Test Message).
  2. The Impact – If this Alert will cause a delay (to this train/bus…or to the overall system, then estimate the duration).

    You are encouraged to populate 1 and 2. If you use the Let Clever Decide option… then our algorithm will populate these fields based on the values provided on this alert.

     

  3. Your Train – Identify the train affected. Based on your My Commute settings (Origin, Destination, Primary route), and the time of day, the app queries official schedule data provided by NJT, LIRR and MNR to show you a list of relevant choices (more info).
    That information is then shown as part of the published alert.
    (Skip this field if you are on a bus.)
  4. Comment/Description – Add a short note (up to 140 characters).
    Note: If you populated 1, 2, and 3, then you really don’t need to say much in this field (but you do need to say a few words).
    Remember: the message is geo-tagged and timestamped, so you don’t need to add the where or the when
  5. Audience – The vast majority of users will simply accept the default. Elevated users (AKA Rail Warriors) use this option to pick the most-suitable audience.
  6. Hashtag – This feature is in beta. Feel free to add a value if you like.


Overall:
 We encourage you to use the pick-from-list approach for the the fields above. Also, #4 (the Comment/Description field) is really only there to enhance the rest of the aleert.
Please do not use that field to ask questions, or to be funny, snarky, etc, as this will cause your message to be held for review…resulting in a delay in getting the message to your fellow commuters.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and to pitch in. Maybe you’ll even show up on the Clever Commute Leaderboard!

 

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“How To” Homepage

March 5th, 2017  |  Published in examples

This is a write up of how to use one of the many features of the Clever Commute service. See also:


 

 

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Travel between Hoboken and Manhattan

March 4th, 2017  |  Published in admin, alternatives

The links in the Option column generally lead to Trip Planner tools at the provider’s web site

Option

More Info

Ticketing

PATH

(Map)

Click through and use the opton to Select Line

  • Option 1 – World Trade Center
  • Option 2 – 33rd Street
MetroCard and SmartLink

NJT Bus

(Map, Schedule)

Click through and enter your Origin and Destination

  • HOBOKEN BUS TERMINAL IN HUDSON CO
  • PORT AUTHORITY BUS TERMINAL IN NY

Note: The 126 bus may take back roads (approx 30 minute ride)

NJ Transit App

NJT Light Rail

(Map)

Click through on Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and enter your Origin and Destination

  • Hoboken
  • Newport
    or
    Exchange Place

(and then take PATH per the above)

Proof-of-Payment

 

 

 

 

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Identifing the train makes Alerts even more helpful

February 26th, 2017  |  Published in Feature

Summary: When you use the Send An Alert feature, new functionality (Jan 2017) allows you to optionally identify the train affected. That information is then shown as part of the alert (in Recent Alerts, push notifications, and e-mails [Premium feature])

Based on your My Commute settings (Origin, Destination, Primary route), and the time of day, the app queries official schedule data provided by NJT, LIRR and MNR to show you a list of relevant choices (see screenshots below).

More Info: People generally know the station and time of their trains (but not the provider-issued train number). For example, I know the NJT 8:14 AM from Watchung Plaza to NY Penn. That train just-so-happens to be #6214. As 6214 travels toward NY, it is known as

  • 8:17 AM at Walnut Street
  • 8:21 AM at Bay Street
  • Etc

The app now figures all this out…for both the Sender and the Receive of the Alert

Example: If I create an alert which says “Train is delayed due to slippery rail condition,” the app gives me a pop-up box with intelligent options as follows:

  • When that alert is shown in Recent Alerts, it dynamically adjusts based on the Origin of the person reading the alert.

Therefore, a rider from Bay Street is presented is told that the problem is with “the 8:21 AM from Bay Street to NY Penn [#6214]”.

Final note: We do our best to make the app as smart as possible for both the Sender and the Receiver. There are some nuances and exceptions (e.g., not all trains make all stops…so in that case we show the reader the Origin/Destination of the train).

 

Overall: We love it when our Senders identify the train when sending an alert.  Some final notes:

  • If you don’t see your train in the pick list, then please let us know
  • Senders can write in the train number if they know it
  • Senders should not put any train identify info in the body of the actual alert…because it’s now automatically/consistently added based on the official train number
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What’s new in Version 2.3.7

February 21st, 2017  |  Published in examples

Improved End-user Experience

  • Added contextual train details to Recent Alerts
  • Added train details to push notifications
  • Removed train details from click-through
  • Improved CSS / look-and-feel for Recent Alerts
  • Added App Help menu option

New Premium Features

  • Holiday reminders / Advice
  • Added train details to Premium e-mails
  • Improved rendering of train location and origin when viewing on a map

Bug Fixes

  • Reset iOS badge when the alert expires
  • Train picklist on certain devices
  • Fixed link to FAQ
  • Nickname length error message (and confusion with zip code)
  • Added “None Selected” option for “Your Train”
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All riders benefit from all sharers

February 12th, 2017  |  Published in examples

Some alerts are only of interest to riders on the route where it happens. Other alerts are of broader interest. Clever Commute supports this need two ways

  1. Some users (including the Admin [Conductor Josh]) have the ability to direct an alert to a wider audience. These are the so-called Rail Warriors.
  2. Clever Commmute technolgy uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to automatically determine if a message is of broader interest.

In either situation, these cross-shared posts are labeled in 2 ways (see picture below)

  • The broadcast icon to the left of the route name
  • The word Source followed by the color-coded name of the route on which it originated
 

This alert was generated by a user who has
Montclair-Boonton Line as their Primary route.

 

 

This alert was generated by a user who has
Gladstone-Morristown Line as thier Primary route

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Snowstorm: Feb 9, 2017

February 8th, 2017  |  Published in announcements

  • Good luck today!
  • Please be safe!
  • …and remember to share info with fellow commuters via our free app!
Carrier Headlines Official info
NJ Transit
  • Expects to operate regular service on its bus, rail, light rail and Access Link services
  • Cross honoring on bus, rail and light rail starting at 4:00 AM Thursday
Detailed Customer Notice
LIRR Due to reduced track capacity at Jamaica resulting from Wednesday’s derailment of a non-passenger train, the LIRR cancels nine trains Thursday morning on six branches.

Click link at right to see LIRR Storm Monitoring and Response to see what customers can expect during different types of storms

Guide to Winter Weather Travel on the Long Island Rail Road
Metro North Rail Road Click link at right to see Service options they may enact during a storm Guide to Winter Weather Travel on Metro North Rail Road
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What’s new in Clever Commute Version 2.3.6

February 5th, 2017  |  Published in announcements

Improvements

  • Recent Alerts
    • Show relevant data when no there are no immediate user-generated issues reported
    • Added Fonts/Colors/Keywords
    • Streamlined processing of mails / messages from Port Authority
  • Train location map is more descriptive
  • Clarified / Updated iOS App store listing

Back-end Fixes and Infrastructure Work

  • Optimized real-time checks for best practices
  • Improved formatting of train-specific messages track texts
  • Automated approach to managing stale app versions used by commuters
  • Fixes/Enhancements to Your Train on Send an Alert page
  • Decommissions of unused / legacy logic
  • Optimized use of interstitial ads
  • Finalized fixes to Push notifications (iOS Certificates and vendor APIs)
  • New SSL certificate

 

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Thoughts on Track Predictions (and our Track Predictor)

January 31st, 2017  |  Published in announcements


Clever Commute Premium has dozens of amazing features.
This page explains one or more of them...


Play it safe! Please do not descend to track level until your train has been announced.

 

In case you have not yet seen the visual walk-through of how it works, please visit this page.

We do not gaurantee that we will predict your track with 100% acccuracy. But we do our best to de-stress your evening. Our algorithms leverage our historical databases and real-time feeds from the transit providers.
As a result, we:

  • Limit the potential number of in-scope tracks to a reasonable number of choices
  • Eliminate tracks which will not be used for a given train
    (our eliminate processing is based on recent actual usage…so when a track is removed as a choice in the app, you have high confidence of where the train will not be)

Tip: The accuracy of the prediction improves as the official departure time nears.

In addition to our algorithms, the commuters play a part, too!

  • Form your own thesis! Use the slider to add/remove days of history to/from the forecast.
  • Look at the details and the summary to formulate your best guess
  • Press Cast Your Vote button to tell other commuters “The train is here!”

Remember: Most staircases serve two tracks…so that may improve your chances of beating the crowds.

 

 

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