The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority continued its efforts to engage with developer community by releasing real-time data – with an interesting MAssDot / Developpers Relationshion principles, see Here – for 12 additional bus routes. This caps what outgoing MassDOT official Chris Dempsey called “an incredibly successful year,” which started when the state released MBTA static route and schedule data last summer. Thanks to a series of developer challenges, and a pilot test of real-time data for five routes, MBTA customers now can choose from about a dozen applications that offer route and schedule information and — in some cases — real-time arrival predictions.
“We’re trying to make buses cool,” said new MBTA general manager Richard Davey. “We’re trying to make buses sexy.” Speaking at a developers conference in Cambridge Thursday night, Davey said that the MBTA used to be reluctant to share real-time information with customers. “We need to be a lot more open and frank,” he told the group. The 17 routes for which real-time info is now available serve about a third of the system’s bus customers. Working in partnership with NextBus, the MBTA will share arrival prediction data for all 185 bus routes by the end of the summer.
Developers were encouraged to create software applications and physical installations using a real-time feed for Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority bus locations and arrival predictions. Currently feeds are available for five routes. Governor Deval Patrick announced the winners via prerecorded video at the March 24 event:
Catch the Bus provides arrival predictions for iPhones and Android phones
MBTA Count-down Clock,which can be installed in storefronts and other locations, shows countdown information on a clock face