Open Transit Data: New Yorkers Left Out in the Cold

Give software developers open transit data, and they'll create applications that make riding easier and more convenient, says Ben Fried. But straphangers in the nation's largest transit market, New York, are still waiting for the MTA to open up.
September 24, 2009, 10am PDT | Tim Halbur
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"If you live in Portland, there are dozens of mobile applications that help fill gaps in transit information. You can check your phone to see when the next bus is supposed to come. You can plan a trip from one unfamiliar part of town to another. You can even have your mobile device buzz if you fall asleep before reaching your destination. For the basic stuff, there's no iPhone necessary (although that certainly helps for information luxuries). Anyone who has a plain old cell phone with text messaging can ride the train or the bus with greater ease thanks to these apps."

"New Yorkers are still waiting for the MTA to join the club. Simply put, the MTA makes it difficult to create applications using its data, even for a behemoth like Google with enormous reach."

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Published on Wednesday, September 23, 2009 in Streetsblog
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