Boston Public Transit Does It Right: Opens Scheduling Data

from the nice-move dept

We were just talking about how NY's public transit authority, the MTA was following in the footsteps of other short-sighted transit groups, by claiming ownership of scheduling data, and trying to squeeze license fees for anyone who uses it. Instead, if they were smart, they'd recognize that their money is made by making it easier and more convenient for people to take public transportation. It appears there are at least a few public transit authorities that recognize this. Rosedale points out that up in Boston, the MBTA is actually taking an open approach to its data. They're opening up all of the data and allowing developers to create their own apps:
"Our priority is to consistently improve customer service for the riders who rely on the T and RTAs everyday to get to their job or their doctor's appointment on time," said Transportation Secretary Aloisi. "With the help of thoughtful technical developers, making this data public will spawn many possible applications to help transit users use their cell phones or laptops to find and use the right bus or train in the right place at the right time for them."
Nice to see at least a few out there who have figured this out.

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    Rosedale (profile), 20 Aug 2009 @ 10:02am

    To be fair

    To be fair this took a long time in coming and a lot of complaints. I personally am an every day rider. To work and back from work. So by now I've figured out most things on my own. Still I find myself in uncharted waters from time to time and this info is invaluable. I know when I was in NYC for vacation my iPhone was used to ride public transit. Without it I would have used their subway a lot less.

    From what I can tell there are a lot of great computer geeks in the area planning on some great projects with this new data. Stay tuned and we'll see what happens.

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