December 16, 2022, Lambton Shores – Huron Shores Area Transit (HSAT) has launched an SMS Texting service to enable passengers waiting at a bus stop to get real-time bus arrival time for that stop. This latest communications method is part of HSAT’s ongoing customer-centric approach to ensure passengers have the information they need to easily and confidently use the service.
Large reflective stickers customized with the number of each of the 50 bus stops and a QR code have been affixed to almost all bus stop signs. A few bus stops have to wait for warmer temperatures for installation. When scanned, the QR code takes the user to a special web page with information on how to text for bus arrival times.
“The texting system is easy to use. To find out when the next bus arrives, a passenger simply texts “HSAT” and the 4-digit bus stop number indicated on the bus stop sign to 8887433472 (RIDE HSAT) to receive a text back with the bus arrival information,” says Transit Coordinator Susan Mills.
When Mills took over the role of Transit Coordinator in late June 2022, the methods of informing passengers of service interruptions were limited to Facebook posts or a website pop-up. Now, in addition to Facebook and web notifications, passengers can opt-in to receive email notifications or download mobile apps like Google Maps and Transit App (www.transitapp.com). Real-time HSAT bus travel data is sent to Google Maps and Transit App, enabling subscribers to receive bus schedule information and service interruption alerts about the routes and stops important to them. HSAT upgraded their presence on Transit App so passengers can enjoy a free download. Sarnia Transit also uses Transit App, so HSAT passengers travelling to or from Sarnia can experience a seamless trip-planning process.
In addition to texting instructions, the web page includes downloadable route schedules and contact information.