Toronto Mayor David Miller and TTC Chair Adam Giambrone demonstrate how TTC customers can send an SMS text message for a specific stop and receive a real-time reply

July-August 2010

The TTC announced the next phase of its electronic customer service enhancements by launching its next vehicle arrival system for streetcars on July 8. Toronto Mayor David Miller and TTC Chair Adam Giambrone were on hand to demonstrate how TTC customers can send an SMS text message to the TTC for a specific stop and receive a real-time reply with the expected arrival time of up to the next six streetcars at that stop.

More than 600 streetcar stop poles have been affixed with decals that indicate a unique number for that stop. All stop numbers can also be found at ttc.ca. Customers waiting for a streetcar can send a text message to 898882 (‘txtttc’). Using GPS technology, the TTC then sends an automated reply to the customer’s cell phone advising them of when the next streetcar (up to six streetcars) is due to arrive at that stop.

For streetcar stops that service more than one route, replies will be sent based on the arrival times of up to the next six streetcars; each arrival time will indicate the route associated with it in the reply.

Later this summer, the TTC will announce plans to share data with Google. In 2011, the TTC will launch next vehicle arrival for all bus stops – some 9,000 – across the city.