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Configuring Your DIY Sign


Using a DIY sign is as simple as displaying a specific URL in a browser window.  Coming soon, this page will add an online tool to help you build it.  For now, don't let that stop you. The basics of setting up your URL requires only these two quick steps:

1) First, find the stop codes for the stop or stops you want to display.  If you don't know how to do that yet, you can learn that here

2) Next, copy the following text stub into your browser's address bar, and add those stop code(s) at the end:

  http://bustime.mta.info/sign/sign?refresh=30&message=&stopIds=  

After the first stop code, separate additional ones with a comma.

Adding Stops

So, for example, if you wanted to show information for Stop #203050 (Victory Boulevard at South Greenleaf Avenue, heading west), your URL could be

  http://bustime.mta.info/sign/sign?refresh=30&message=&stopIds=203050

To also display information for Stop #200536 (Victory Boulevard at Lester Street, heading east), your URL could be:

  http:////bustime.mta.info/sign/sign?refresh=30&message=&stopIds=203050,200536

Any number of stops can be displayed on your sign, but we recommend keeping it to no more than two stops for landscape (horizontal) displays or five stops for portrait (vertical) displays.

Configuring A Message

You can include a short message to users that will be displayed at the top of your sign: offer riders discounts at your business, advertise special offers or promote your website.

To do this, simply insert your message into the url after  message=  and before &stopids. So, in our example, to invite customers to "Come Inside!" you would use the following:

  http:////bustime.mta.info/sign/sign?refresh=30&message=Come+Inside!&stopIds=203050,200536

Just use plain text, without quotations, and only with the space characters you want to be displayed.  HTML cannot be used in the message text.

Refresh Interval

For most users, that's all you need.  However, depending on how you connect to the Internet, you may want to set the refresh interval higher than the 30-second default. You can set the interval to any value between 30 and 120 seconds.  To do this, change the number after refresh=  (30, in the example), to another number -- up to 120.  So, the variation below configures our example URL to update the screen evey 120 seconds (2 minutes).

  http:////bustime.mta.info/sign/sign?refresh=120&message=Come+Inside!&message=&stopIds=203050,200536

We recommend setting the value higher on cellular or wireless connections and lower on faster cable or DSL connections. If in doubt, leave the default setting of 30 seconds.

Configuring Your Computer

After you generate the URL, using the steps above, bookmark it or set it as your browser homepage.

Make your browser "fullscreen" for best results. You can usually do this under the "View" menu and selecting "Full Screen" or "Presentation Mode".

Supported Screen Resolutions

The sign currently supports TVs or monitors that display the following resolutions in the indicated orientation:

Landscape orientation (horizontal):

  • 800x600
  • 1024x768
  • 1280x1024
  • 1920x1200

Portrait orientation (vertical):

  • 768x1024
  • 1024x1280
  • 1200x1600
  • 1200x1920