Tracking your ferry? There’s an app for that!

Ok, folks. Picture this. It’s a chilly April morning. One of those mornings where you want just one more sip of coffee. There’s a great segment coming up on the news that you don’t want to miss. And you can’t find your other shoe. You’re wondering if you have five minutes or eight minutes before your ferry pulls up to whisk you across (arguably) the state’s most beautiful commute to work.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was an app for that? There is! This is the year 2019 after all, despite the fact that no one has discovered the answer to instantly locating missing footwear…

As it turns out, a little tool called the Southern Maine Transit Tracker (SMTT) was released by Casco Bay Lines in partnership with Metro and South Portland Bus Service just about two years ago. It’s a ride tracking system that uses computer and GPS devices installed onboard all CBL ferries to provide real-time and predicted arrival information to riders. And if you aren’t using it yet, you should be!

The real-time map is SMTT’s interactive web map that riders can use to track CBL vessels sailing on Casco Bay, and view estimated time of arrival (ETA) and “next stop” information for all vessels on a regularly scheduled trip. All the buttons and abbreviations can be a bit intimidating at first, but we’ve put together a great set of instructions for first-time users in our Commuter Center and a few tips below that should help you master the tool in no time!

Level #1 – The Fundamentals. Experiment with the real-time map to see when your ferry will arrive, watch the Casco Bay Lines ferries on their routes and familiarize yourself with the functionality using your laptop, mobile device or home computer.

Level #2 – Tracking on Demand. Determine your stop ID and use it to receive estimated arrival times by text message on text-enabled mobile phones by texting the letters SMTT and then your stop ID to the number 41411. (Example for Long Island – SMTT LO)

Level #3 – Next Level Tech. Download and try out a third-party app like Transit App, Moovit or Google Maps. Casco Bay Lines, Metro and South Portland all offer open access to their data in order to encourage innovation.

Congratulations! You’ve got this! Of course, technology has its pros and cons, and the system can’t be 100% accurate, 100% of the time. We always encourage riders to be at their stop in plenty of time before the scheduled departure and remind all that boarding is first-come, first-served.

We’re proud to offer this tool and hope that it makes for an even more enjoyable experience for our customers and allows for a few extra minutes to sip that coffee… or to pick out a new pair of shoes.