SMS + Bus + Porto

One final image from Portugal. The public transit system around Porto is very integrated: under the andante brand name, metro, bus, tram and train are all part of the same RFID-based payment system. You purchase an andante card from an automated machine, and then “validate it” before you ride; it’s good for a certain amount of time for a certain number of zones (see this post to learn how we didn’t quite figure this out properly).

Another interesting aspect of the transit system is that every bus stop has a code printed on its sign, along with a telephone number. You send the code as an SMS text message with your mobile phone to the number, and a few seconds later you get back a return SMS with a list of the times the next buses stop there:

SMS Message for Porto Public Transit

It works, and turned out to be really useful a couple of times.