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Jsunflyguy

Subway App Data

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@RR503 @Union Tpke

You guys seem well versed on this, perhaps you can enlighten me, how exactly do apps like Google receive their information regarding train schedules? I ran into a situation yesterday (Saturday) where I wanted to take the train from Forest Hills to 179, based on the supplement I knew the train was due at 1551, just for a lark however I decided to pull up the trip on Google Maps, and it said the train was due at 1554, figuring the train was late I pulled up the schedule explorer, which said the previous train was scheduled at 1553, 1550 and 1541 I believe (???). How does something like that happen?

 

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, Jsunflyguy said:

@RR503 @Union Tpke

You guys seem well versed on this, perhaps you can enlighten me, how exactly do apps like Google receive their information regarding train schedules? I ran into a situation yesterday (Saturday) where I wanted to take the train from Forest Hills to 179, based on the supplement I knew the train was due at 1551, just for a lark however I decided to pull up the trip on Google Maps, and it said the train was due at 1554, figuring the train was late I pulled up the schedule explorer, which said the previous train was scheduled at 1553, 1550 and 1541 I believe (???). How does something like that happen?

Google Maps is weird. I believe they use base schedules and then edit routings to match posted service changes, so you pretty much always end up with schedule data that has no correspondence with the supplement. They then use the real-time train location data to make stop time predictions off of their contrived schedules, which is likely the number you saw. 

Most other apps just use the supplemented schedule data that MTA puts out in conjunction with the real-time feed. The supplemented schedule feed has been wonky lately, though, so it’s not like they’re functioning all that much better. 

This website puts out a human-readable version of the data feeds. Useful for figuring out whether your app is messing up because it broke or because the MTA did:

www.transitfeeds.com/p/mta  

Edited by RR503
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