Public transit data not just for Google Maps
Front Seat software launched City-Go-Round today, a new directory of applications to make transit easier to use.
Several public transit agencies have made their Google Transit data open to the public and developers have used this data to create their own transit applications.
City-Go-Round’s mission is to help make public transit more convenient. For example, an app that lets you know when your bus will arrive is way better than standing outside waiting for 20 minutes. A quick search tells you which local transit agencies have available apps.
Visitors also see a list of which transit agencies make their data publicly available to software developers and which agencies do not. “We are calling on transit agencies nationwide to open their data and follow the lead of the Open Government Directive issued this week by the White House,” said Mike Mathieu, Founder and Chairman of Front Seat. “City-Go-Round’s transit apps are a concrete example of how open data can improve citizens’ lives on a daily basis.”
Of 748 transit agencies in the U.S., only 84 provide their schedule data to software developers. The largest three transit agencies with no open data are: MTA New York City Transit, New Jersey Transit Corporation, and Metro-North Commuter Railroad Company in New York. Visitors to City-Go-Round can add their name to a request for open public transit data in their city.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, BART, SF Muni, Caltrain, the SF Bay ferries all make their data publically available. iPhone, mobile and web applications for these Bay Area transit providers include trip planners, real time arrival prediction apps, and even an app that uses GPS data to wake you from your nap. Schedule and real time arrivals are available for some of these through 511.org or by dialing 511 on your cell phone.
SF Bay Area transit agencies that don’t openly provide data for software development include SamTrans, VTA, AC Transit, ACE, Amtrak Capitol Corridor, and several other small transit agencies serving the region.
Front Seat Software also operates the popular Walk Score service to help people determine the walkability of a neighborhood.