Our API directory now includes 45 transit APIs. The newest is the Metro Transit NexTrip API. The most popular, in terms of mashups, is the Yahoo Traffic API. We list 20 Yahoo Traffic mashups. Below you’ll find some more stats from the directory, including the entire list of transit APIs.
On a cool morning a group of hackers slowly filter into a downtown Philadelphia storefront. The whiteboard wall quickly fills up, as a few work on finding an accurate way to track the progress of a single chosen bus line. With phone in hand, others build systems providing schedules and stops via SMS and voice. A few keystrokes and another starts tracking the positions of trains, while across the the room, transportation information flickers across a screen, controlled simply by a pair of hands moving through the air.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York State (MTA) recently announced a new apps contest called MTA App Quest. The contest is designed to promote apps that cover a much broader system than just New York City and spark interest around the MTA API and newly released datasets. The MTA App Quest is the latest chapter in the MTA’s transformation from a relatively closed agency to one that is embracing open transit data.
One of the key rules of having any service online is the ability to measure everything. Metrics like number of users, requests, where the requests originate, most frequently requested data and many more play an important role in not only fine tuning your services but also give a good measure of what it is going to cost you to run your online business as you scale up. SMSMyBus, a mobile telephone application that lets you find real time bus arrivals for the Madison Metro (WI) has just completed a year of existence and has published a report exactly of that.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) has announced the opening of public voting for the NYC BigApps 2.0 Competition. The big apple has wasted no time in following last year’s successful competition with 350 datasets from over 40 agencies. From the looks of the apps, the NYC tech community is already fired up about the competition.
Riders on New York City subways are subject to all sorts of sights. For several months, that has included prominent advertisements for the MTA API, the developer program of New York City’s transit company. The ad (pictured below) includes the headline, “Our apps are whiz kid certified.”
We’ve been following the trend of transit agencies providing developer access to timetables, routes and more for some time. Big cities, like New York and Boston are on board and helping fuel new transit applications. There now seems to be more momentum, with organizations and influencers making the call for open data.
Sometimes there’s just too much interest in open data. The Greater London Authority has temporarily pulled its feed of the Underground due to “overwhelming demand.” The service gave locations of every subway train in the city updating in nearly realtime.
Once the largest transit agency without open data, New York City’s MTA embraced developers by making its data feed available to all. Now it’s going a step further by organizing an unconference for developers. Further, the event will be hosted at the New York offices of Google, a long supporter of open transit data.
If the Queen of England used public transportation, she wouldn’t have far to walk from her Buckingham Palace home. And finding her nearest stop is now very easy since Transport of London has implemented a Google Maps mashup of bus routes.