NYC And Philadelphia Transit Goes Real-Time - InformationWeek

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IoT
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Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
4/17/2010
06:52 PM
Allen Stern
Allen Stern
Commentary
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NYC And Philadelphia Transit Goes Real-Time

Earlier this week, the NYC transit authority announced their first real-time content. Both NYC and Philadelphia are testing real-time transit information that will help take transit into the future.

Earlier this week, the NYC transit authority announced their first real-time content. Both NYC and Philadelphia are testing real-time transit information that will help take transit into the future.I am a huge fan of public transit and am very excited to see many cities across the U.S. and the world embracing technology within their public transportation organizations.

I've got to give some credit to the NYC MTA team members who have been participating in the New York City subway and bus developer group. The team is very responsive to all of the questions and requests that hit the group from developers looking to build on top of the APIs and other developer offerings from the transit authority.

Earlier this week, MTA employees announced that the first real-time API is now available for testing. The API is based on the real-time bus information on the 34th street bus line (that's routes M16 and M34). The test will run through August 10th and the data stream will be stopped on that date. If you want to use the API, you must request a key by April 19th. An API is basically a text file with structured information inside.

You can learn more about today's real-time API announcement on the developer forum.

The NYC MTA also created the first real-time Google Maps mashup using the new data. It's called NYCT Bus Time and has two options: a display that matches the display at the actual bus stops and the live map where you can watch the M16 and M34 buses move along 34th street in Manhattan. It's really neat and worth checking out no matter where you live.

On the NYCT Bus Time live map, you can see each of the bus stops indicated with red dots along with the buses moving along the street. The bus number is also displayed.

SEPTA (that's Philly's transit system) is also running a demo of their real-time bus tracker.

My favorite real-time transit map comes from Switzerland. The map allows you to watch all of the trains across Switzerland in real-time. If you place your mouse over a train, a variety of details are displayed including speed, direction and the time the train will reach the next station. A simple warning...if you visit the map, you will be addicted to watching the trains move.

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