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Transit Apps Help Snowbound Commuters
Thursday, January 06, 2011 4:33 PM  

Communters boarding bus in snowPhone apps that cost about $1 helped some Boston commuters in the recent East Coast snow storm .

Last spring, The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority - commonly called the T - began releasing real-time data on the whereabouts of its buses and trains. That's allowed entrepreneurs to develop software for smart phones, letting commuters obtain reliable info on when the next bus or train arrives.

For commuters trying to negotiate post-blizzard trips, the apps were a godsend, reports The Boston Globe.   Owners of iPhones and Androids can buy apps - such as Catch the Bus - and know when it's time to trudge across a snow-laden street to stand at a bus stop.

Here in Houston, iPhone commuters can download an app called Ride Houston. It uses the GPS in one's phone to locate the user - and then instantly tells you where the nearest METRO bus stops or train stops are located.

 

 

 

Comments

DominicMazoch said:

And SA via has a phone number you can call. You give them the stop code, and it will tell you when the next bus is comming. And you can use ANY phone, for FREE!

# January 6, 2011 8:33 PM

DominicMazoch said:

At least it was not "T-Shirt" weather!

But I gid get a REAL T-shirt:  A shirt with the T's system map on it.  The comment on the top was:  My freind went to Boston, and the only thing I got was this Lousy (T) shirt.  The (T) was the MBTA's "T-Ball" logo!

Now, when will be able to get items with METRO, METRORail or Q on them?

# January 6, 2011 8:39 PM

Steve Palmer said:

"Last spring, The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority - commonly called the T - began releasing real-time data on the whereabouts of its buses and trains."

So when is METRO going to implement something like this?

# January 7, 2011 11:01 AM

Brian said:

Are there any plans to release real-time data on the whereabouts of Houston METRO buses, and adding it to the Ride Houston app? That sounds like a great idea.

# January 7, 2011 12:49 PM

Mary Sit said:

I will try to find out if METRO is planning to release real-time data. Ride Houston was developed by a private developer - former Houstonian Brian Leonard, who works in the Boston area.

# January 10, 2011 10:20 AM

Mary Sit said:

Steve & Brian,  

Here's a response from Kim Slaughter, senior vp of service design and development:

"METRO is looking into several ways to provide real- time arrival information to our customers.  We will keep you posted as it comes available. Thank you for choosing METRO."

# January 12, 2011 2:39 PM

Cedric Collins said:

Will METRO think about doing something like this for Android cell phone users?  I have an Android phone, and I think this app should be done for those folks who have such a phone - such as myself.

# January 13, 2011 10:06 AM

Steve Palmer said:

Thanks for looking into that, Mary. Sounds like we can't expect anything in the near future.

# January 13, 2011 11:38 AM

Mary Sit said:

Cedric,

If METRO releases real-time data to the public, I would imagine private software developers could pick up the info and write an app for Androids, as well as iPhones and Blackberries.

# January 13, 2011 12:58 PM

Cedric Collins said:

Mary,

I'm going to have to agree with what Steve Palmer said---meaning---"Sounds like we can't expect anything in the near future."

# January 18, 2011 11:21 AM

Cedric Collins said:

"I would imagine private software developers could pick up the info and write an app for Androids"

Mary?  I ought to get you for that.  *lol*  OK---TRUCE!  I've picked up two apps for my Android phone that picks up the info from METRO and writes it as an app.

# February 1, 2011 4:21 PM
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