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How to block alerts to phone

We just got three more excellent alerts to our phones from folks at CTA headquarters (the CTA's name/handle for message alerts now is "CTA_HQ"):

"Due to an unattended back pack, trains are bypassing Clark/Lake (Blue,Green,Brown & Orange Lines)subway/elevated station"

"Bus shuttle is in place between the Grand and Washington Blue Line stations. "


"Normal service has resumed at Clark/Lake station. 12:28 p.m. "

This is the great information we all want and need from the CTA in a very timely fashion.

But what if we aren't commuting at noon on a Friday?

Then turn off alerts. Turn them back on about an hour before you leave for your commute.

Click here for all the info you need about sending SMS commands to stop and start messages.

Continue reading below for a quickie guide to turning off messages. (Remember to put a dot - a period - before all SMS commands.) Again, details here.

.OFF: Turn Upoc message delivery OFF. You can also send .OFF to a group to turn messaging off for that specific group.

example: To turn all Upoc messaging off, just send .OFF to 8762.

To turn off one group's messaging, reply to a group message with .OFF
.ON: Turn Upoc message delivery ON. You can also send .ON to a group to turn messaging on for that specific group.

example: Turn messaging back on by sending .ON to 8762.

Turn a group's messaging back on by sending a message to the group with .ON


I have a question. Sorry if it's been addressed elsewhere: How far off is the time on the web site? I see the latest alert was sent at 1:57 p.m. today but it's only 1:37 right now. Are they an hour ahead?

Mike, are you talking about the upoc.com web site, where you can see the wireless alerts? If so, when I go there, I see that the latest alert was sent at 12:57 CDT (which is when I got it on my phone).

Is it possible that your PC has the wrong time? Anyone else have ideas on this?

Yep, here's what the most recent post looks like:

Aug 19 1:57PM
Fr: kjo84
Last 3 alerts came from CTA. Big victory. It's what we want. Don't quit! Read ctatattler.com for info on blocking alerts

The clock on my computer is accurate, 3:08. I ask because, being firmly stuck in the 90s (didn't get a cell until last year), I figured I could just check the site before leaving work instead of getting text service, etc.


Mike, one more very obvious question: You ARE in the Central Time Zone, right? Not Indiana somewhere maybe? I just don't see that....

Are there any other Sprint PCS subscribers on here? I've been able to receive texts, but I'll get a message stating that I'm not a member if I send a message.

This evening, I was attempting to send one because of a SB Red Line delay from Lawrence, as the train doors had a malfunction on one of the cars.

The FAQs on upoc.com have instructions to set up Sprint PCS accounts, as it'll have to be wired to mobile e-mail instead, but I have still yet to receive the confirmation.

(No worries, I know this isn't tech support for upoc, but I was interested to see if there are any other Sprint PCS users who have had success/failures.)

The .off thing works good. You get a message saying to turn on just reply with the word ON

When it gets turned back on, you get a reply msg saying to turn off, just reply OFF.

Helpful hint: I immediately locked those two messages in my phone so I can quickly turn the messages on or off.


To set up your SprintPCS phone, you need to add your messaging email address to your UPOC profile. Your email address should look like:
##########@messaging.sprintpcs.com (the # being your 10 digit phone number).

Once you add the email address, UPOC will send a confirmation message to your phone. Just reply back with "Yes" to confirm. Thats it! From that point on, you will be able to sent alerts using "ctaalets@upoc.com" in the "TO" field of your message. Hope this helps.


What am I doing wrong? I get no alerts at all. All I've received are 3 poll questions. Can someone explain?

Dave, I would go back again and make sure you are indeed signed up for the CTA_alerts group. Go here. Also make sure you have alerts on by sending the command ".on" (without the quotes" to the group number 48802

For the polls, I think when you sign up for upoc.com
you automatically join some of those stupid poll groups unless you tell them you don't want to join. When you are logged into upoc.com, click on "communities" and Quit any group or channel you don't want to belong to.

Thanks, Kevin--that did the trick. I appreciate your help--no one can accuse me of being a genius with these types of things!

Isn't there a way to limit messaging to routes of interest to individual subscribers? I ride any of two train lines and/or three bus numbers regularly, and any of several more (as to O'Hare) irregularly, and have only limited free/included SMS service. Using 80 of them to turn on and off the SMS twice daily is bothersome; can you tailor messages to go only to those interested in problems on or affecting particular routes? Thanks!

and by the way, the clock on the site says 5:44 pm but CDT is about 12:44 pm!

I love this one:

Due to a cave in, #96 Lunt buses are temporarily rerouted in both directions via Touhy, Western and Lunt.

A cave-in? Okay.

BTW, I'm not sending this out as an alert, but Michigan Av busses do not stop at the corner of Mich and Chicago right now. This effects NB busses only. This is only until they finish whatever it is they're doing to the street between Chicago and Oak.

For jrcrossan and others who want selective alerts: Perhaps (I'm just thinking out loud here) a better solution is to bookmark the group's Upoc page and check it as needed? That way you can scan, fairly quickly, the last 20 or so alerts.

I haven't tried this but it should work.

Have upoc send the messages to a Gmail account instead of your cell phone. Then use filters to forward only relevant messages to your cell.

There may be some small problems with this.

1. Messages may be slightly delayed due to the intermediate Gmail step.

2. If you filter for a a bus route like "15", you may also get messages for route "152" or messages that include "15 minute delay".

If somebody does try this, let us know.

Good site. Thanks.
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