Thursday, December 01, 2005

Traffic Updates

If you live in Toronto, and drive a car, you probably listen to 680 News (AM 680) on a regular basis, for their traffic updates. (“Every ten minutes on the ones, at 1, 11, 21, 31, 41, and 51 minutes past each hour...”) But sometimes I’m leaving the office at just the wrong time—it’s 4:43, and I’ve just missed the traffic, and won’t hear it again for 8 more minutes, but I need to decide which highway to take now.

Luckily, 680 News has introduced a new feature where you can get traffic reports on demand, on your mobile phone. If you text message the word “traffic” to the number 680680, a computer will call you back on your cell phone, and play back a recording of the last traffic report that was given. (For some reason, they will also send you a text message back, to let you know that they’ll be calling you, which is kind of unnecessary. Also, my phone often rings with the call before the text message even arrives, which kind of defeats the purpose.)

If you want to try this feature, keep in mind that it costs fifty cents per call.