The CycleTracks smartphone application

CycleTracks iPhone app graphic
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CycleTracks uses the iPhone and Android's GPS support to track users’ bicycle trip routes. It's simple to use: tap Start to start recording your ride, Save at the end, and specify a purpose (commuting, shopping, exercise, etc.). Data representing the purpose, route, date and time are sent to the Transportation Authority’s servers. 

Think of it as a travel survey that asks you why and where you are riding, but automatically maps your route rather than asking you to write it down from memory.  

Download CycleTracks from the App Store℠ or from the Android Play Store on your phone. 

For more information on the project, e-mail Elizabeth Sall at the SFCTA, or call her at 415.522.4800.

The iPhone version of CycleTracks is a mopimp production. Both versions of the app are funded in part by a Caltrans planning grant.

*—We retain the iPhone's Unique Device Identifier (UDID) or Android phone's Device ID in order to group trip data by users. No other identifying information is collected except with opt-in permission. Anonymous data may be shared with other public agencies and researchers for planning purposes.  We will never present anything publically that would expose your identity without your expressed permission.
 


PRIVACY

We will respect your privacy, but we want to learn from the data too.  What does that mean? To us, that means:

  • We retain the iPhone's Unique Device Identifier (UDID) or Android phone's Device ID in order to group trip data by users.
  • All other identifying information is optional.
    • Geographic data that you expressedly upload to us is saved to our servers.
    • Personal info (i.e. age, zip code, email) is saved to our servers if you save it in the app itself.
  • Data other than UDID and Device IDs may be shared with other public agencies and researchers for planning purposes.   All data users agree to maintain confidentiality of the data
  • If you choose to submit your email address to us, we or other researchers may contact you on an infrequent basis to ask if you would be interested in participating in a follow-on study.
  • We will do our best to maintain the security of the data on our servers.
  • Nothing will be presented publically that would expose your identity without your expressed permission.

 HOW TO USE CYCLETRACKS FOR IPHONE

1. Selecting a Trip Purpose:

  • Tap "Trip Purpose" on the Record New Trip screen.

We’re interested in the MAIN purpose for each trip you make. Think about why you are out and about on your bike to begin with. If you’re unsure how to categorize a trip, select "Other" from the Trip Purpose chooser. You can always attach an explanatory note to your data before transmitting.

  • After making your selection, tap "Save." You’ll be returned to the Record New Trip screen.

2. Personal Info:

This is completely optional, and, if you choose to participate, only has to be done once. It involves a few basic questions useful to our study, but they’re optional and confidential. If you wish to give us your email address (which will not be shared with any third parties), we can keep you updated on the progress of the study.

  • Tap “Personal Info,” fill out the form, and tap "Save."

3. Recording a bike trip:

  • After selecting a trip purpose, tap "Start."
  • The screen will lock and dim, to conserve battery life.
  • At the end of your trip, unlock the phone and tap "Save" to upload your data to the Transportation Authority’s server. Add a comment if you like.
  • You can choose not to save or transmit any trip for any reason. Simply quit the app rather than tapping "Save." No data will be transmitted.

In order to remind you that the app is running and to save your battery, your iPhone will ring like a bicycle bell and vibrate after 15 minutes, and every 5 minutes thereafter. If CyclesTracks is running when your iPhone battery reaches less than 20% of its charge, the app will automatically stop collecting data and quit.

Steps to make sure CycleTracks works properly

  • DO NOT push the "Sleep/wake" button on top of your iPhone while running CycleTracks: it will stop recording and you’ll lose your trip data. The app must be visible on your screen in order to work properly; the screen is dimmed to conserve battery life.
  • DO NOT push the "Home" (main menu) button while on your ride or CycleTracks will stop recording.
  • DO NOT change tracks or playlists in iPhone’s iPod while running CycleTracks. Begin play before starting CycleTracks.
  • If you receive a call in the middle of a ride, CycleTracks will stop recording while you are on the phone. When you finish the call, CycleTracks will restart and resume recording.

Sharing your Saved Trip maps

"Saved Trips” shows maps, dates and start times of your trips. You can share the maps with others:

  • Tap Saved Trips at the bottom of your screen to see your list of previous rides.
  • Choose one, zoom in or out, and take a screenshot.
  • Share the screenshot via email or download it to your computer.

iTunes is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Content purchased from the iTunes Store is for personal lawful use only. Don’t steal music.
 

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HOW TO USE CYCLETRACKS FOR ANDROID

1. Recording a Trip

  • Tap the Start Recording button to instantly start recording a bike trip. This will activate the GPS receiver on your phone and begin tracking your ride. You can tap the Pause button to temporarily stop or start receiving GPS updates. Click Finish when you're done with your ride.
  • Thanks to Android's background-app capability, you don't need to do anything special to keep CycleTracks running. You can put the phone to sleep or use other apps while recording. The small green CycleTracks icon in the notification bar will keep recording your moves. Note: the SFCTA does not recommend using your phone while you're in motion!
  • In order to remind you that the app is running and to save your battery, your phone will ring like a bicycle bell after 15 minutes, and every 5 minutes thereafter. If CycleTracks is running when your battery reaches less than 10% of its charge, the app will automatically stop collecting data and quit.

2. Selecting a Trip Purpose

We're interested in the MAIN purpose for each trip you make. Think about why you are out and about on your bike to begin with. If you're unsure how to categorize a trip, select "Other." You can always attach an explanatory note to your data before transmitting.

3. Personal Info

Tap Menu > Edit User Info. This is completely optional, and, if you choose to participate, only has to be done once. It involves a few basic questions useful to our study. They are optional and confidential.

If you wish to give us your email address (which will not be shared with any third parties), we can keep you updated on the progress of the study, and will enter you into a raffle for some neat prizes.

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