Creating a Message

To create a new public message, click the + Add Message button, which displays a window with the following sections.


All fields in the General Transit Feed Specification section are required even if your agency does not use GTFS.

  1. In Cause, choose a type of event. Options include events such as Accident, Construction, Demonstration, Holiday, Maintenance, Medical Emergency, etc.
  2. In Effect, enter the impact that the Cause has on service. Options include effects such as Additional Service, Detour, Modified Service, Other, Reduced Service, Significant Delays, Stop Moved, and Unknown Effect.
  3. Enter the Header, which identifies the event.
  4. Optionally, enter a URL related to the event.


From the Message Priority drop-down list, choose a priority. The default is medium. As shown below, the channels handle message priorities differently.

Channel Message Priority Usage
myStop® Website Messages are ordered first by priority and then by start date. Emergency messages are indicated with a red icon.

User Subscriptions (myRoutes and emails)

Emergency messages are indicated with [Emergency] in the Subject line. Other message priorities do not have an effect.
User Subscriptions Text Messages (SMS) Priority does not impact text messages.
Facebook Priority does not impact Facebook messages.
Twitter Priority does not impact Twitter messages.

Click the Published slider to toggle between activating and deactivating the announcement.

By default, the status for a new message is set to Published. If you want to create a message but not activate it immediately, deactivate the Published slider. To activate it later, edit the message, click the Published slider, and then click Save.

NOTE: A separate Position Setting permission grants Publish rights. When users cannot set message statuses to Published, the Publish permission has not been set for their position. This permission is useful for cases where a Public Relations department or Supervisor reviews all public messages.


Use the Type radio buttons to designate the message as either a General Message or a Category/Route message. Category/Route specific messages are most useful for information that affects only a few routes, such as detour information.

If you choose Category/Route, you must select one or more routes and categories to which this message applies. For Facebook and Twitter, there is no difference between general and category/route messages. These designations pertain only to users of the myStop® website and app who subscribe to text messages and e-mails, as the Subscriber Messages section describes.

On the myStop® website and app, users can select the following choices when viewing Public Service Messages:

  • All Messages displays both general and route specific messages.
  • Selected Routes displays only the route specific messages for routes that the user has selected in the My Subscription tab/Routes section of myStop®.
  • My Routes displays only the route specific messages for routes that the user has selected in their profile. My Routes is available only when the user is logged into their account.

The website uses a red symbol to indicate route specific messages.

Users who set their Personal Information page to Email and/or Text Message will receive all general messages. Optionally, users can subscribe to specific routes to receive announcements about those routes.

NOTE: The Select Categories drop-down list is an additional method that allows riders to filter text messages they receive. The feature is not commonly used, but the system can populate the drop-down list with message categories (e.g., General, Detours, Board Minutes, …). Riders can select message categories they want to receive while signing up for text messages.

On the myStop app when the user selects message priority/route specific messages, here is how the messages will show:


Specify where you want the system to deliver a message. You must select at least one of the following destinations: Web & Email, Facebook, and Twitter. If you select Website & Email, the myStop® website and app displays the message, and the system also sends it to users who have subscribed to receive messages.


Use this area to set the time frame you want the message to be displayed.

Click the calendar icon  to pick the dates or type the numbers into the field. The default date range starts on the current day and continues for a day.

Optionally, click the Specify a start and end time toggle switch when you want the message to start and end at specific times. If you use the time range fields, the system begins displaying the message on the start date at the start time and finishes on the end date at the end time.

NOTE: The myStop® website and app uses the start and end times, but it is ignored by Facebook, Twitter and Text Messages.


Enter the text of the public message in this box. This box has three tabs where you can enter messages of different lengths. Additionally, the Rich Text Editor tab allows you to format the text and include images, such as detour maps.

The active tabs depend on the message destinations you select. The various destinations allow a different maximum number of characters. You might need to reword messages for different lengths when you send it by multiple channels.

Message Type Destinations Character Limit
Rich Text Editor Email Unlimited. Can format text and include images
Long Message GTFS, Facebook, myStop® website and app 300
Short Message SMS, Twitter 160

HINT: When you select Website as a destination, remember that the message is also sent to users subscribed to receive the website public messages. Users subscribed to SMS messages receive the text entered in the short message.


After you have defined your message, click the Save icon in the bottom-right to save the         message. Or click the Cancel icon if you do not want to save the message.


Use the attached Quick Guide to learn and follow the steps on how to create a new public-facing message and periodic in-vehicle message.

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