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**NYC Open Government**New York public transit data summit


superdotny

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Hello all,

 

From my signature, you know that I work for the City Council, the legislative branch of New York City. Council Member Gale A. Brewer, Chair of the Technology in Government Committee and also on the Transportation Committee, has sponsored an Int. 991-2009 that aims to boost government transparency through opening public data, which includes MTA train/bus schedules. Even though the MTA falls under State jurisdiction, we are working hard to win the MTA's heart to become proactive in an era of open government. Why can't we have some thing close to WMATA on our phones. While real-time data is not available (yet), schedules should be easier to access--both mobile and on the Internet.

 

As transit hobbyists, I would like to invite all of you to attend the summit next week. More information below. Remember, this is serious and academic.

 

We are also looking for MTA employees and officials to participate. Pass the word along.

 

I hope to you see you there.

 

Sam

 

------------------

Dear friends,

 

We (The Open Planning Project) are planning a summit on the future of

New York City public transportation schedule data, with beer. Please

see our blog post for more details:

 

http://topplabs.org/civichacker/2009/08/new-york-public-transit-data-summit-with-beer/

 

WHERE: 148 Lafayette St, NY, New York, 12th floor

WHEN: Tuesday, August 25 at 6pm

WHAT: Meetup to discuss how the MTA and the developer community can

best collaborate.

RSVP:

 

Please come join us for pizza, beer, and a friendly discussion.

There's also a stunning view of the city we all love.

 

Thanks,

-Nicholas Bergson-Shilcock

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All of the MTA schedules are accessible at this location.

 

We know that. But is it extractable for other applications? Not yet--it's limited to computer usage. Can the user on a mobile phone look up this info with one click, such as when the next scheduled train will be arriving? That's the limit we have. Also, the MTA is discouraging any further development on this data. How can find a way to encourage open data? That's the goal here.

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Well, aside from the L, there really isn't any real time train arrival information. If it is not found on the platforms themselves, why would they found on a certain hotline. I know the system needs better technology, however we must go one step at a time. We need real time train arrival information on the platforms first, such that the everyday commuter will be satisfied with that enough to have them on a hotline.

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Well, aside from the L, there really isn't any real time train arrival information. If it is not found on the platforms themselves, why would they found on a certain hotline. I know the system needs better technology, however we must go one step at a time. We need real time train arrival information on the platforms first, such that the everyday commuter will be satisfied with that enough to have them on a hotline.
If the (L) Rockaway Parkway station is any indication, it would be a waste of money to implement it system wide.
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If the (L) Rockaway Parkway station is any indication, it would be a waste of money to implement it system wide.

I agree, money should be used on other things. Sides, for a hundred-odd years we lived with real time train arrival information. Why do we need it now? Sides, having a train to come frequently itself is a good sign in a system where many trains are "late"

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Well, aside from the L, there really isn't any real time train arrival information. If it is not found on the platforms themselves, why would they found on a certain hotline. I know the system needs better technology, however we must go one step at a time. We need real time train arrival information on the platforms first, such that the everyday commuter will be satisfied with that enough to have them on a hotline.

 

We already have a hotline, but that's not what we're aiming for. Why is schedule data restricted to pdf files, while it CAN be exported to other applications for further program development?

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I think what they have going on right now is a good start, the digitizing of the (L) line is a good test to see if such a thing can go systemwide. The FIND system and the displays announcing the stops make it easy to use the subway, especially out of towners who might get confused easily.

 

An idea I came up with a while back was a digital subway map that updates itself to show reroutes and what the system is like during the time of day. For example if (E) is going to 2 Ave, it will be shown as such, if the (7) is ending at Queensboro Plaza, the line on the map dissapears from 42 to Queensboro.

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I think what they have going on right now is a good start, the digitizing of the (L) line is a good test to see if such a thing can go systemwide. The FIND system and the displays announcing the stops make it easy to use the subway, especially out of towners who might get confused easily.

 

An idea I came up with a while back was a digital subway map that updates itself to show reroutes and what the system is like during the time of day. For example if (E) is going to 2 Ave, it will be shown as such, if the (7) is ending at Queensboro Plaza, the line on the map dissapears from 42 to Queensboro.

 

The second ideas sounds cool. Thanks.

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I agree, money should be used on other things. Sides, for a hundred-odd years we lived with real time train arrival information. Why do we need it now?

 

We also lived for centuries without many comforts of modern society that we take for granted and can't function without.

 

As for scheduling information, I have an iPhone application (iTrans NYC) that downloads the departure times station-by-station and also shows major service advisories.

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The second ideas sounds cool. Thanks.

 

Agreed, the NTTs could have a feature like this, but the only way they can probably do this is if they made a huge display screen in stations and on trains, which would be subject to vandalism. But vandalism has gone down significantly, so it may not be that huge of a problem. The LED screens on the (L) haven't been vandalized AFAIK.

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Then all the other stations would feel underserved if they do not have this feature also. I'd go with having this in the waiting area though, because you often find police hiding behind closed doors to enforce laws against vandalism against TA property.

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Train and bus schedules need to be readily available to the public, I agree. Not everyone has internet access, and what if someone needs to take the train or a bus to a library?

 

Second, to be honest, I don't really see the point of the digital screens on the (L). Yes, passengers can see where the train is, but that does not make it come any faster. How does that improve the commute?

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