Skill Review: OneBusAway



VOGO Voice RATING                                3.3/5

Voice First                                                                  4/5
Display Friendly                                                       N/A
Performance/Ease of Use                                       4/5
Accuracy/Data Quality                                             4/5
Value Proposition                                                     3/5
one bus away


One Bus Away is an open-source voice app developed by OneBusAway to provide real-time arrival and departure information for commuters. The user can access the live bus timings by providing the city of residence and the stop number. The stop number can be sourced from the placard in the bus zone, the OneBusAway mobile app, or the local transit agency website.

The voice skill supports transit info for several cities namely, Atlanta, Rogue Valley, San Diego, Seattle/Tacoma/Puget Sound, Tampa Bay, Washington D.C., and York Region (Canada). A few other highlights are that it offers the flexibility to change stop, and city, besides filtering a set of routes that are stop-specific. Also, the user who would prefer to listen to live updates in clock format such as 10:25 am instead of “arriving in 9 minutes” has the provision to do so by saying “enable clock times”, This feature can be disabled anytime by saying “disable clock times”. Yet, a major positive is that the skill supports personalized profiles. A user who has set up a voice profile for Alexa can receive personalized information when calling out, “Alexa, where’s my bus?”. Through voice recognition, the skill provides real-time updates on the set favorite station. Well, that being said, there seem to be a few downsides like the conversation ending abruptly soon after giving the updates; inability to set multiple stops as favorites, the feature to filter routes booting off when in need. Though there is the provision to change stop or city, and filter routes, the user cannot make these changes in one go. As a result, the user will have to revisit the skill to make the changes to the available options separately.

The VOGO Voice team scores this skill 3.3 out of 5 stars based on our rating system. Yet, you’ll have to try for yourself and see how useful and timely the alerts are. OneBusAway has been designed to help transit riders personalize real-time information so that they don’t have to sprint in fear of missing the bus again. So why not try out the skill and see if it is a fruitful source of information in your journey forward.


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