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How To Create Your Own Customized CTA Transit Tracker

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This Do It Yourself Bus Tracker includes a slide for buses arriving at Michigan and Randolph.

This Do It Yourself Bus Tracker includes a slide for buses arriving at Michigan and Randolph.

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John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) — There are dozens of mobile apps that can help public transit riders save time and hassles on CTA’s trains and buses.

But which one is best?

The answer to that question often lies in the eye of the user.

CTA offers another option: A Do It Yourself Transit Tracker.

The agency’s configuration tool allows riders to set up a web-based slide show with up to eight train or bus stops.

Once you select your favorites, the tool spits out a url that can be bookmarked on your desktop computer.

Setup is very easy, and for folks with a bit of computer coding knowledge, the CTA also provides ways to customize your page.

Users can also select options to display system-wide service alerts and the weather forecast.

While the tool is designed for desktops, there is a way to transfer the page to a mobile phone.

The url is really long, but use a url-shortening tool (like bitly.com) to get a more manageable link. Then type the shortened link into your mobile browser and bookmark the page on your phone.

The DIY service is currently in beta stage, and there appear to be a few issues.

For example, there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to make changes on the page, without having to start over on the configuration tool.

There also isn’t a way to advance to a slide quickly. Rather, users have to wait for the slides to display on their own.

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