Transportation startup Dadnab has extended its trip planning service to Portland, making it the first and only such text messaging service available in the area. Dadnab offers the service at no charge.
A Portland Dadnab user sends an SMS text messages from a mobile phone to portland[.]dadnab.com. In the message, the user specifies an origin, destination, and an optional departure or arrival time. The service replies with step-by-step instructions for reaching the desired destination by light rail, bus, or streetcar.
The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) serves the greater Portland area, including Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties. Dadnab gives route and schedule information for all of TriMet's service area.
The service is multi-modal, meaning that the itineraries it sends to users can contain a mix of modes of public transportation. For example, it might suggest using light rail for the first leg of the trip and transferring to a bus to reach the desired destination as quickly as possible.
Entrepreneur Roger L. Cauvin founded and operates the service.
"If you're a first-time or infrequent transit rider," he says. "you don't want to wade through maps and schedules to determine how to get to your destination." Cauvin adds, "Even experienced riders sometimes know the routes but don't know which is best at any particular time."
Dadnab's Website (dadnab.com) has instructions, examples, and support.
The service is also available in Austin, the San Francisco bay area, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, and the tri-state New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut area.