Saturday, February 19, 2011

SMSMyBus by the numbers - a recap of the first year

It was about this time a year ago that I built the Madison transit app that delivers real-time arrivals estimates for Metro buses via text messages. Little did I realize that it would turn into such a fun adventure.

I took a look at the logs for the past 52 weeks. Here's SMSMyBus by the numbers...

Total number of users : 138
Total number of requests : 2900
Number of unique stops requested : 318
Most popular stop requested : 1878, Jenifer & Ingersoll

Below is a histogram of the requests each week, and the shape is curious. I've never marketed the service so it's only traveled by word of mouth. The cold weather likely led to the recent jump but I can't explain the general lumpiness throughout.

I also plotted all of the requests on a map using size to indicate the number of requests for each stop. If you're interested, you can explore the map more at

Total cost to me? It was a little more than $75 - all of it going towards costs associated with the SMS messaging (Twilio). With the rising popularity, I'd love your donations. Just press the 'donate' button on the site. :)