MCTS Real-Time: How-To Guide
COMING SOON: Real-Time mobile app. Clever Devices is building a mobile app for MCTS Real-Time Bus Information. We will let you know (via this website) as soon as we hear it is ready.
Real-Time Bus Information is being launched as a "beta." That means that everyone is welcome to try it and we welcome your feedback to help us make it better.
Let us know what you think of this new service by sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org!
How to get Real-Time information using the website, RideMCTS.com
When you go to realtime.RideMCTS.com you will see the following:
Now you can choose to see Real-Time Bus Information by Estimated Arrival Times or Bus Location Map.
Estimated Arrival Times
Simply use the drop down menus to select the Route, Direction and Selected Stop. The screen will show the predicted bus arrival times for that bus stop.
(Tip: if there is a four digit bus number listed on the right in the table, that indicates it is tracking the bus in Real-Time. Scheduled time has no bus number or will state “scheduled.”)
If you know the "Stop #" you can also retrieve the same information by inserting the number in the "Stop #" field at the top left of the screen.
(Tip: after you enter a Route, Direction and Selected Stop, the Stop # will be displayed, and you can remember it for quick access next time.)
Bus Location Map
Click the "Routes" button on the top right to select from a list of available routes.
Zoom in to see the Real-Time locations of each bus.
Hover the mouse over a bus to see details and estimated arrival times.
How to send a text to get MCTS Real-Time Bus Information?
MCTS Real-Time BusTime can give you estimated arrival times by text message (works on most mobile phones*). It's easy!
Be sure to text the word "MCTS", a space, and then the bus stop number. Example:
You will receive estimated arrival times for all buses at that stop.
The message will look like this:
*Important note: Message and data rates may apply. Check with your mobile carrier first.
Reply to the text message to get additional information.
Reply "R" - get the latest, most updated result for the same stop.
Reply "N" - get the next result for the bus stop. Only needed if your stop has multiple routes serving it since your results may not fit in one text message.
Reply "F" - return to the first text information message about the stop.
(Remember: Message and data rates may apply. Check with your mobile carrier first.)
How to get Real-Time information by phone
- Call 414-344-6711 and listen for the options.
- Press #2 for "Real-Time stop arrival information."
- You will then be asked to enter the bus stop ID number (How to find your stop ID)
- A voice will state the route number, bus number and the predicted arrival time at that stop. It will provide a list of the next three buses arriving at that bus stop.
(Tip: if it states “scheduled” instead of giving a bus number, it means Real-Time information is not currently available for that bus.)
How to find your bus stop ID number
You can find your stop ID number at your bus stop, at realtime.RideMCTS.com, or on Google Transit Directions.
At the bus stop
MCTS is currently adding the Bus Stop ID Numbers to all bus stop signs. Since there are more than 5,500 bus stops, it will take us several months to complete this project. Bus stop ID numbers will be located directly below the bus icon image.
Option 1. Use the Real-Time table.
Enter the route number, direction, and bus stop, and it will display the stop ID number in the box above.
Hint: use the drop down arrows in each box to make finding this information easier!
Option 2. Use the Bus Location Maps.
- Click "Find Stop" to look up a specific bus stop, or...
- Select a route to view, then zoom in and click on the red dot representing the bus stop you're interested in.
Your results will look like this:
At Google Maps
You can find your Stop ID by hovering over any stop while on Google Maps. (Note: on mobile devices you may need to touch the bus stop icon for stop details.)
Stop IDs appear right in transit directions given by Google Maps. It will not be on the general Google Maps page, but once you put in the needed information to get directions and select the Transit icon, the bus stop ID number will appear on the map.
How to create an account to receive text or email alerts
Your Real-Time account gives you access to automated bus arrival notifications for one or more bus stops.
To set up an account and manage your email and text alerts, go to realtime.ridemcts.com and click on “Create Account” in the top right corner.
After answering some simple questions to set up your account and choose bus stops to monitor, you will receive an email and/or text alert that contains your bus arrival predictions.
You can log back in to change your alert settings at any time.
Sample email alert:
The following predictions are being sent in accordance with your instructions.
Arrival time predictions for stop 2536 - KENWOOD + STOWELL on Route 21 (WEST)
Bus 5328 bound for NORTH AVENUE TO MAYFAIR - ETA: 9:33 AM
Bus 5350 bound for NORTH AVENUE TO MAYFAIR - ETA: 9:51 AM
Bus SCH bound for NORTH AVENUE TO MAYFAIR - ETA: 10:08 AM
Bus SCH bound for NORTH AVENUE TO MAYFAIR - ETA: 10:24 AM
Bus SCH bound for NORTH AVENUE TO MAYFAIR - ETA: 10:41 AM
Bus SCH bound for NORTH AVENUE TO MAYFAIR - ETA: 10:59 AM
If you wish to stop receiving these alerts, please log in to your Real-Time
account and change your alert options.