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Old Dec 29, 2012, 04:37 PM   #1
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New York MTA Introduces iOS App with Real-Time Subway Arrival Info




New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority just released a new app, MTA Subway Time, which provides accurate real-time information on subway arrivals for six of the numbered lines, including No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, plus the 42nd Street shuttle, covering 156 different stations in the city. Subway Time will allow commuters to plan trips down to the minute.

The app works with the countdown clocks that are linked to centralized computers, which have been installed in just seven of the city's 24 lines.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the system's age and the cost of upgrading has prevented it from being easily updated, though real-time coverage will roll out to other lines in the future. The first update will come in six to 12 months, when the L line is added.
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The new app covers only about a third of the subway system, and agency officials acknowledged that it will likely take years of work and hundreds of millions of dollars in new investment before conveniences increasingly common elsewhere are standard in the Big Apple.

The rest, encompassing two-thirds of its total stations and roughly 60% of its daily ridership, continues to rely on signal technology dating to the middle of the 20th century or earlier. It will be years before those lines have signal systems that can generate the digital information that drives countdown clocks on platforms and apps on cellphones with live updates.
Other cities have been quicker to incorporate current technology into existing transit systems. California's Bay Area Rapid Transit System, or BART, for example, has developed a web-based mobile app and in 2007, the city released open format transit data that third party developers were able to incorporate into their own apps.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and the Chicago Transit Authority also provide information for third party developers.

New York Transit officials are hoping to inspire app developers to create third party apps as well, and a free live stream of arrival time data will be given to app developers.

Transit apps have become especially important with the release of iOS 6, because Apple Maps does not provide innate transit directions. Instead, the Maps program redirects users to download relevant routing apps like New York's new Subway Time.

MTA Subway Time can currently be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Article Link: New York MTA Introduces iOS App with Real-Time Subway Arrival Info
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 04:44 PM   #2
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 05:01 PM   #3
kas23
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OK, now we need about 200 more of these apps to cover the majority of the subway times' for major cities.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 05:15 PM   #4
FuNGi
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I hope you all appreciate the chronological irony of this and the previous MR story about i-device theft in NYC.

Now there is more reason than ever to check your phone as you wait on the platform...
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 05:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by FuNGi View Post
I hope you all appreciate the chronological irony of this and the previous MR story about i-device theft in NYC.

Now there is more reason than ever to check your phone as you wait on the platform...

Or, perhaps, never take your phone out as you wait on the platform!
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Last edited by dejo; Dec 31, 2012 at 02:35 PM. Reason: Fixed quote.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 05:29 PM   #6
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Or they could have some digital clock in every station so passengers could see when the train is coming.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 05:36 PM   #7
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Or they could have some digital clock in every station so passengers could see when the train is coming.
We have that but only for certain lines, hence this app. It'll be a few more years before the entire system have it.

This app is specifically for the lines which already have the digital signs, which in short is stupid because the signs are active in the stations. Why would we need to look at our phones if we could just look at the countdown clocks?

For reference:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/15/ny...15bigcity.html
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 05:45 PM   #8
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it should be presented with the Fugliest Design Award
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 05:49 PM   #9
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Chicago's CTA implemented almost real-time train tracking essentially for free by reading the data from their current signals as trains cross them, and combining that with data collected from previous trains to give a very close approximation on arrival time. Just another reason I like Chicago 1000x better than NY. Enjoy your 33% coverage, that sounds like AT&T's slogan.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 06:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by StuddedLeather View Post
This app is specifically for the lines which already have the digital signs, which in short is stupid because the signs are active in the stations. Why would we need to look at our phones if we could just look at the countdown clocks?
So that if the train isn't coming in 15 minutes I could catch a cab instead of walking to the subway stop. Etc.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 06:17 PM   #11
RobNYC
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Originally Posted by StuddedLeather View Post
We have that but only for certain lines, hence this app. It'll be a few more years before the entire system have it.

This app is specifically for the lines which already have the digital signs, which in short is stupid because the signs are active in the stations. Why would we need to look at our phones if we could just look at the countdown clocks?

For reference:
Image
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/15/ny...15bigcity.html
The clocks are great but what they really need to do is to put them outside the stations as well so you know how long you're going to have to wait before you go into the station. That would most helpful late at night.
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 01:32 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by StuddedLeather View Post
We have that but only for certain lines, hence this app. It'll be a few more years before the entire system have it.

This app is specifically for the lines which already have the digital signs, which in short is stupid because the signs are active in the stations. Why would we need to look at our phones if we could just look at the countdown clocks?

For reference:
Image
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/15/ny...15bigcity.html
In London we have real time information for all lines, and I still sometimes use it even when you can check at the platform as it allows you to check it before you leave, to avoid waiting a long time.
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 04:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuddedLeather View Post
We have that but only for certain lines, hence this app. It'll be a few more years before the entire system have it.

This app is specifically for the lines which already have the digital signs, which in short is stupid because the signs are active in the stations. Why would we need to look at our phones if we could just look at the countdown clocks?

For reference:
Image
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/15/ny...15bigcity.html

For me it will come in handy when I'm leaving the office. My office is on the 6 line. I hate getting down into the station and finding out that the next train is 10 minutes away. Now I can check before I leave.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 02:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuddedLeather View Post
We have that but only for certain lines, hence this app. It'll be a few more years before the entire system have it.

This app is specifically for the lines which already have the digital signs, which in short is stupid because the signs are active in the stations. Why would we need to look at our phones if we could just look at the countdown clocks
If I'm walking up River Ave. to 161st St. at Yankee Stadium, I can check to see how long the train will be so I can decide if I can keep walking or start running in order to catch the next ride in. I can't see those signs from the streets below.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 03:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuddedLeather View Post
We have that but only for certain lines, hence this app. It'll be a few more years before the entire system have it.

This app is specifically for the lines which already have the digital signs, which in short is stupid because the signs are active in the stations. Why would we need to look at our phones if we could just look at the countdown clocks?

For reference:
Image
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/15/ny...15bigcity.html
How little you must think about these things. Late at night, you might want to know the 5 train through the bronx and how long it'd take to transfer to the 2...
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 09:12 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by miknos View Post
Or they could have some digital clock in every station so passengers could see when the train is coming.
This.
I live in Hong Kong and I know exactly where to look when I walk up to the platform to find out when the next train will be there. Much easier than pulling out my phone to check.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 05:33 PM   #17
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Downloaded and deleted within one minute. It seems like no care was taken designing this. Poor.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 06:20 PM   #18
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Why no API?

I would just make API and give private developers to make the app. It will be much better and user friendly. There are many great developers that can do much better job on the UI and much more user friendly app.
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 10:56 AM   #19
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I would just make API and give private developers to make the app. It will be much better and user friendly. There are many great developers that can do much better job on the UI and much more user friendly app.
Hear, hear.

Is there some good reason why transit providers can't standardize on an API to provide this real-time information?
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 09:23 PM   #20
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Nice, but why does it cost millions to update the system though? I would assume some detection camaras and math can accomplish tracking accurately?
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 09:10 PM   #21
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could be nice if you take the subway.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 04:20 PM   #22
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Mta

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Old Jan 3, 2013, 10:46 AM   #23
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can't get anything right, a holes
Trains were running mere days after the hurricane. I'd like to see you do better.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by brianbobcat View Post
Chicago's CTA implemented almost real-time train tracking essentially for free by reading the data from their current signals as trains cross them, and combining that with data collected from previous trains to give a very close approximation on arrival time. Just another reason I like Chicago 1000x better than NY. Enjoy your 33% coverage, that sounds like AT&T's slogan.
NYC's subway system runs 24/7 and is orders of magnitude larger and more complex than Chicago's. So yeah, I guess it would be pretty easy to get it done there. And do get in touch when your system accomodates even 10% as many riders as the ours.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 01:23 PM   #24
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Excellent! Many of these lines have stations with times posted outside the turnstiles, but not all of them. And even for those, this lets you know if it's worth heading to the subway.
Too bad the A B C D lines don't have this; I'm always left waiting for those.
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