Imminent arrival messages

Transport adapté in real time

Transport adapté minibuses and our taxi partners’ vehicles are now equipped with a system for tracking vehicles and notifying customers of their imminent arrival.

This real-time tracking system offers numerous advantages that will allow the Transport adapté team to improve on-time delivery of service and meet increasing demand.

Tracking vehicles across the city in real time offers new opportunities to improve service.

Here are a few examples:

  • Imminent arrival messages
  • Optimized trip reservations to offer better customer service
  • Faster and more efficient interventions across our network thanks to vehicle geolocation
  • More accurate information on your vehicle’s arrival time when you call to report a delay

What’s “imminent arrival”?

It’s a message that tells you your vehicle is on its way.

Watch our video to learn more ...

Consult the accessibility page for more info on the external medias.

See Imminent arrival message on YouTube

Every day, we track more than 10,000 paratransit trips in real time at the STM.

On-time performance is a daily challenge for public transit providers. Here’s a look at what happens before a paratransit vehicle arrives.

On the day before or in the days before a trip, the customer makes a reservation on SIRTA, our online reservation system, or by phone with an agent.

In the evening, the customer receives a reminder for the trip the next day.

If the confirmed trip time is 9 a.m., the customer must be ready at 9 a.m. and the vehicle will arrive between 9 and 9:30 a.m.

On the day of the trip, the paratransit control room tracks all vehicles in real time. The vehicle’s imminent arrival is automatically detected at the customer’s address.

The customer receives a notification, either by text message, automated call or email, based on their preferences.

Now the customer knows that the vehicle is about to arrive.

The customer can also view the vehicle’s expected arrival time in real time on SIRTA.

Imminent arrival messages help reduce wait times at pick-up points. They’re a useful tool that simplifies trips and improves the paratransit experience.

Be informed about the imminent arrival of your vehicle.

Every day, the control room tracks all vehicles in real time. A few minutes before your trip, the new computer system automatically detects the vehicle’s imminent arrival at your address and sends you a message to notify you that your vehicle will be there very soon.

It takes an average of eight minutes between the time the message is received and the time the vehicle arrives. In some cases, it may take a bit more time, since the unexpected can happen on the road just before the vehicle reaches its destination.

Like reminders the day before trips, the imminent arrival message is another tool that makes transportation easier by reducing wait times at the pick-up point confirmed when you made your reservation.

If you already receive reminders the day before your trips, you will automatically receive imminent arrival messages.

If there is only a home phone number in your file, you will receive an imminent arrival message only when you leave home.

Temporary anomalies

Since the implementation of our new service that notifies customers of their vehicle’s imminent arrival, we’re still noticing that, in 4.5% of cases, the message does not reach the customer. Many of these anomalies will be corrected by mid-January 2020, after which they will occur in at most 1% of cases.

There are a few possible causes, like the ones described below.

1.
There is an internal problem with our customer call system.

In that case:

  • The imminent arrival message will not work (no reminder).
  • On SIRTA: the time displayed is correct. The system is working.

2.
We are experiencing a major disruption of our computerized planning system. (This is very rare, and occurred only once in 2019.)

In that case:

  • The imminent arrival message will not work (no reminder).
  • On SIRTA: there will be no message indicating the estimated arrival time.

3.
The vehicle tablet experiences a GPS disruption.

In that case:

If the disruption lasts a long time:

The imminent arrival message will be sent based on the original expected time.

Example:
For a customer with a window of arrival of 10:00-10:30 a.m. and an expected time of 10:00 a.m., the call will be sent at 9:52 a.m., since we will not have received any geolocation information because of the disruption.

On SIRTA, the original expected time will be displayed. Consequently, for a customer with a window of arrival of 10:00-10:30 a.m. and an expected time of 10:00 a.m., SIRTA will display 10:00 a.m., since we will not have received any geolocation information because of the disruption.

If the disruption is recent:

The imminent arrival message will be sent according to the last updated time based on the geolocation information.

Example:
A trip is originally planned for 10:00 a.m. (window of arrival of 10:00-10:30 a.m.). At 9:44 a.m., the expected time is now 10:05 a.m. At 9:45 a.m., a GPS disruption occurs. Consequently, at 9:57 a.m., 8 minutes before that last estimated time (10:05 a.m.), the imminent arrival message is sent to the customer; however, because of the disruption, it has not been updated since 9:45 a.m. It is therefore less accurate.

On SIRTA, the estimated time displayed is the last updated time based on the geolocation information.

Example:
A trip is originally planned for 10:00 a.m. (window of arrival of 10:00-10:30 a.m.). At 9:44 a.m., the expected time is now 10:05 a.m. However, a GPS disruption occurs at 9:45 a.m. The time displayed will remain 10:05 a.m. from the time the disruption occurs (9:45 a.m.) until it is over.

Please note that other small anomalies can occur in less than 0.1% of cases.

There are two possible causes.

1.
In rare cases, the driver did not respect the trip sheet and forgot to notify our control room.

Example:
The expected time is 10:00 a.m. for customer no. 1 and 10:07 a.m. for customer no. 2. The driver decides to pick up customer no. 2 first around 10:00 a.m. and customer no. 1 around 10:07 a.m.

Customer no. 1 will receive her imminent arrival message too early, at 9:52 a.m., but the driver will arrive at 10:07 a.m.

2.
The vehicle was delayed after the imminent arrival message was sent (within 8 minutes).

  • The road conditions may be unfavourable (e.g. congestion, accident, detour).
  • It took longer than expected for the previous customer to board/exit the vehicle.

Note that 35% of imminent arrival messages are sent when the driver is still helping the previous customer board/exit the vehicle.

  • For reasons beyond our control and in very rare cases, it is possible that a customer’s vehicle is no longer able to pick up a customer, in which case we have to find another vehicle. That customer may be added to your vehicle just before your trip. As a result, you may board later on in your window of arrival.

Example:
Your trip is planned for the beginning of your window of arrival, namely 10:05 a.m. (window of arrival of 10:00-10:30 a.m.). You receive your imminent arrival message at 9:57 a.m. At 9:59 a.m., we add a customer ahead of you; your vehicle is now expected to arrive at 10:25 a.m.

There are three possible causes.

1.
In rare cases, the driver did not respect the trip sheet and forgot to notify our control room.

Example:
The expected time is 10:00 a.m. for customer no. 1 and 10:07 a.m. for customer no. 2. The driver decides to pick up customer no. 2 first around 10:00 a.m. and customer no. 1 around 10:07 a.m.

Customer no. 2 will have received her call too late, only a minute before the vehicle’s actual arrival time.

2.
The vehicle got ahead of schedule after the imminent arrival message was sent (within 8 minutes).

  • The road conditions are favourable (less congestion than usual).
  • It took less time than usual for the previous customer to board/exit the vehicle.

3.
The previous customer cancelled her trip, but the imminent arrival message had already been sent to the next customer; consequently, the driver showed up a little ahead of schedule.

Texte important

You can now check your vehicle’s expected arrival time on SIRTA.

The information will be available 30 minutes before your confirmed reservation time and will be updated every two minutes.

Several options available

Imminent arrival messages can be sent to you by text, phone or email.

Not receiving imminent arrival messages yet or want to change the way you receive them?

Write us at extra@stm.info, specifying whether you’d prefer a text message, voice message or email.

You can also call 514-280-8211 (option1 or 4).

EXTRA Connecte for real-time information!

EXTRA Connecte is an ambitious project that got under way over five years ago. This real-time trip management system has been developed to improve customer experience and answer growing demand.

2017: Implementation of a day-before trip reminder service for users.

2018: - Creation of a control room enabling real-time service tracking.

- Deployment of a vehicle scheduling system enabling real-time service planning, optimization, dispatching and control.

2018-2019: Real-time connection of all Transport adapté vehicles by means of a communication and navigational aid system.

Frequently Asked Questions

You have to be ready for your vehicle at the start of your 30-minute window for arrival, but you can go about your daily activities until you receive a message confirming that your vehicle is on its way.

For some customers, the timing of the imminent arrival message may be less than optimal because they have to go the pick-up point. It is nevertheless the customer’s responsibility to be ready at the start of their window of arrival, as the vehicles are not authorized to wait for someone who has not received an imminent arrival message or who received the message too close to the arrival time.

It takes an average of eight minutes between the time the message is received and the time the vehicle arrives. In some cases, it may take a bit more time, since the unexpected can happen on the road just before the vehicle reaches its destination.

The amount of time is the same for all customers. We cannot allow people to choose a personalized time period. Our experience and tests have shown that programming a message eight minutes before the vehicle arrives is the most reliable timing for our customers.

Our tests have shown that the system generates an imminent arrival message 95.5% of the time. The message (for example, a text message) is then sent to your telephone via your cell phone provider’s network. A transmission delay may occur, but it is beyond our control.

Triggering the imminent arrival message works more than 95.5% of the time. However, even if you do not receive an imminent arrival message, your vehicle should be there within your confirmed 30-minute window of arrival. If your vehicle does not arrive within the agreed window of arrival, call 514-280-8211, option 2, choice 2, to report the delay.

Yes, you will receive an imminent arrival message, unless you request the trip at the last minute.

Yes. Imminent arrival messages can be sent to two different numbers for the same customer. For example, you can receive a call at your home number for your departure and then on your cell phone for subsequent trips.

You can also link up to eight addresses to specific numbers to receive a message.

Let us know your preferences by email at extra@stm.info, specifying whether you would rather receive a text message or a voice message. You can also call 514-280-8211 (option 1 or 4).

Yes. The 30-minute window remains relevant even if you now receive calls or texts notifying you of your vehicle’s imminent arrival, because you need to be ready to board when the vehicle arrives.

For some customers, the timing of the imminent arrival message may be less than optimal because they have to go the pick-up point. It is nevertheless the customer’s responsibility to be ready at the start of their window of arrival, as the vehicles are not authorized to wait for someone who has not received an imminent arrival message or who received the message too close to the arrival time.

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