When experienced Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) riders try to get home from one of the many heavily-trafficked BART stations in the Bay Area, they'll typically employ this strategy: catch a train headed in the opposite direction, go back a as many stations as possible, then disembark to grab their original destination train.
They know attempting this will increase their chances of getting an elusive rush hour seat from an earlier station in the line, where fewer people boarding and the train is emptier.
This method works, but takes a significant amount of time and brainpower to manually work through all the options on-the-fly. What if you could avoid that hassle by instantly getting a list of reverse train options to choose from?
RapidBART is an iOS app that makes this dream come true: helping you find a seat on the BART system during rush hour. No, RapidBART isn't going to reserve a seat for you, force people to give up their seat to you, or conjure an additional empty car on your train that's filled with empty seats.
C'mon, we're not wizards or even magicians.
What RapidBART does do is significantly increase the probability of getting a coveted seat on a packed train during rush hour by running realtime BART departures and arrivals through an algorithm that decides the right train to board in reverse and the optimal number of stations to go back to get you to your destination the fastest. RapidBART then transforms that information into a visual format that will allow you to make split-second decisions.
RapidBART generates a real-time list of reverse destination trains to take back a few stops to help you get a seat and optimize the time it takes getting to your destination.
Save your morning and evening BART stations and the app will automatically retrieve data based on the time of day by just opening the app
Tracks and displays BART real-time platform arrivals and departures from any station to any destination.
Quickly access real-time departures and reverse train calculations from your homescreen, without even opening the RapidBART app.
Get standard BART trip planning information including cost, transfers, and time to destination alongside real-time departures.
Get in-app updates on delays in the BART system as well as days the Warriors, Giants, or Raiders are playing that'll result in an overcrowded BART system.
The main focus of RapidBART is centered on getting you back the largest number of stations as possible, while still catching your next destination-bound train.
We've optimized an advanced algorithm and streamlined the interface to do exactly that, with the minimal number of button presses as possible, while maximizing the amount of useful information so you can make a quick decision.
You'll get a scrollable list of trains to take in the reverse direction with clear heading and disembark station as well as visual indication of which train will take you further back (increasing your chances of getting a seat).
The list is sorted from top to bottom in order of what we think are the optimal trains to take back the furthest distance. You scroll and decide which of the option works best for you or just pick the first option!
Here's a sample demonstrating the standard turnaround indicator:
At the same time we've included standard features that you'd find in the average BART app like a trip planner, checking total time, cost, transfer stations, a system map and more.
We've also included a Widget you can access from your home screen that gives you a dynamic view of the real-time departures and trains you can take back. It's even automatically updated depending on the time of day by swapping your saved morning station to your saved evening station.
If you've ever wasted your precious time scrambling with the BART website, waiting for the real-time signs in the stations to update, and madly calculating (guessing) how many stations you can go back before your train arrives, download this app...it's guaranteed to change your life!
Ok, let's face it, no app is going to change lives and your mom probably let you in on the secret that there's never guarantees in life. RapidBART is just going to save you time and quite possibly get you a seat so you can rest after a long day...that's going to improve your daily commute, a least a tiny bit. It sounds pretty good for the "cost" of a free download doesn't it?
Why did you read all the way to the bottom of this page? Go download the app already!