Frequently Asked Questions

Back to Tracker Home

How do I use Tracker?

You have a couple of options to find your bus arrival. 

1.     Use “Nearby Stops” or “Nearby Routes”: If you’re on a phone, the easiest way to find a stop near you is to enable location services and click “find nearby stops” on the Tracker home screen. Tracker will show you all the stops close by to you. From there, simply select the one you want and find out when your DASH bus is coming. You can also select “Nearby Routes”, and Tracker will show you all the routes that pass by your location. 

2.     Use the route-stop lists: Just like Classic Tracker, the new Tracker still lets you select your stop by choosing a route, direction of travel, and stop. To begin, click on one of the routes listed on the home screen. On the next page, select which direction of travel you’d like—if you’re on mobile you can skip this step and just scroll down to see all available stops if you wish. Unlike Classic Tracker, the new Tracker uses the bus destination (for example, “Van Dorn Metro”) to show direction, not cardinal direction (for example, “westbound). Stops are listed in route order, not A-Z like in classic Tracker. Then, just click your stop to see arrival times. 

3.     Type the Stop Name or Route Name: Tracker can find stops just from the intersection or stop name. For example, you can type in “Duke and Sweeley” to get arrivals for Duke and Sweeley street. Or, if you wish, you can type in a route name to see a list of stops for that route.  

4.     Type in the Stop ID: If you know your stop ID, you can simply type it in the search bar and get arrivals for that stop. For example, if you are at Duke and Jordan heading towards Old Town, type in 4000120 and hit “search”. Currently only stops that DASH shares with Metrobus have stop IDs posted. However, DASH will be installing new bus stop signs with IDs on them in Summer 2021. 

Can I still use Classic Tracker?

Yes—for now, DASH will run both the new Tracker and Classic Tracker to allow for an adjustment. Eventually though, Classic Tracker will be taken down.

Why is DASH replacing Classic Tracker with a new Tracker?

Classic DASH Tracker has provided Alexandria with many years of accurate real-time arrival predictions. However, the new Tracker offers several New Features  designed to improve upon Classic Tracker. Plus, the new Tracker uses the same platform as Metrobus and DC Circulator, allowing you to search for buses on all three systems.

I want to plan a trip, but I don’t know what bus to take. Does the new Tracker have a trip planner?

Just like Classic Tracker, there is not a built-in trip planner in the new Tracker, so you should use Google Maps Transit to plan your DASH trips. However, one feature of new Tracker we’re still working out is bringing real-time information into Google Maps. Soon, you’ll be able to plan your trip and know exactly when to leave to catch the bus—all from Google Maps!

On the map view, why are some buses grey and others blue?

When a bus icon is blue, it means that that bus is communicating its real-time position correctly. When an icon is grey, it means that real time is unavailable for that bus, so the grey icons show where buses should be according to their schedule, not the real-time location. 

I am signed up for email alerts on Classic Tracker. Can I sign up for the same alerts here?

No—Unfortunately, the new Tracker doesn’t have an email alert listserv like Classic Tracker. However, customers can sign up for DASH Alerts by visiting DASHbus.com/dash-alerts. 

I am a software developer who uses the Classic Tracker (BusTime) API. Do I need to switch?

Yes—but not just yet. Over the next several months, DASH staff will be reaching out to all our Classic Tracker developers to switch them over to new Tracker. If you have questions, please reach out at DASHTracker1@gmail.com.

I am a software developer. Can I incorporate DASH’s real-time information using Tracker2?

Yes—but not yet. The new Tracker API will launch during the Beta phase. If you are interested in getting a notification when the API is ready, please email us at DASHTracker1@gmail.com

Why can I search for Metrobus, Circulator, or DASH on the new Tracker but not other local transit agencies?

The new Tracker is based on the OneBusAway software, which is the same software that Metrobus and Circulator use for their real-time arrivals. This shared platform allows us to show each other’s buses on our websites. In fact, DASH buses are also available on Metro’s BusETA! Unfortunately, other agencies in the DC area do not use OneBusAway, so we cannot show their bus arrivals on Tracker. 

What does it mean when my prediction says “scheduled data” next to it? 

Occasionally, buses can’t communicate with our server, usually because of a cellular dead-zone or an equipment malfunction on the bus. When this happens, Tracker gives you the scheduled arrival time—the time that the paper schedule would say the bus comes if you were looking at it.

How can I suggest improvements for Tracker?

We love getting feedback from our customers. Contact us as at DASHTracker1@gmail.com,  tweet @DASHBus, message us on Facebook @DASHBus, or call us at 703-746-DASH.