City-Go-Round Offers Transit Apps, MTA Info Still Not Open

New on the transit tech front, from the creators of Walk Score, is City-Go-Round, a site where you can find and download mobile apps that help out transit riders:

Picture_1.pngOur 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.

If we can make public transit more convenient, more people will ride
public transit. More people riding public transit equals less driving.
Less driving equals a healthier planet.

What transit app developers need to do their work, of course, is open data from transit authorities. And one of City-Go-Round’s great services, in the short term, is showing just which agencies provide open data and which don’t. As we’ve noted before, the MTA is keeping a tight hold on its information so far. In fact, five of the top ten large agencies that are holding out are in the tristate area: Three branches of the MTA (NYC Transit, the Long Island Railroad and Metro North); New Jersey Transit; and PATH.

Since the site launched five days ago, Chicago Transit Authority, which was number four on the list of agencies that refused to release data, went ahead and opened the information tap (the CTA has also installed "bus tracker" flat-screen displays in some local businesses).

Any bets on when the MTA and the others will follow suit?

In the meantime, developers are working with what they have. Check out ExitStrategy NYC, by Jonathan and Ashley Wegener, which reveals the arcane secrets of pre-walking to anyone with a smartphone.

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