Tuesday, September 14, 2010

OneBus Away Posts Community Transit Data

Kudos to the folks at OneBusAway for doing both the leg-work and head-work to procure and convert Community Transit schedule data for use in their online transit applications. While the same schedule data is available on our own website, OneBusAway has many mobile-friendly apps.

Their web-based schedule-finder makes it easy to find stops and their schedules using a Google map. Zoom in close to see all the stops in an area and select for schedule info. Here's what a co-worker had to say bout the Android app: " I have just been scrolling around the beautiful map, touching different stops and looking at available routes, 'starring' my favorite stops and routes, etc. looks great! i am even more psyched we are on there now, and i see why everyone loves it."

I did have some trouble accessing stop-based schedules using my phone or text message. Each transit agency has its own set of stop ID numbers. OneBusAway has a zip code feature to help sort out which area you are traveling in and thus which agency’s stop information you want. Apparently, I had improperly or never set my "default location," and the system thought I was in California. When I reset my location and entered a Community Transit stop # (find yours by route on Community Transit's website or posted on the bus stop itself), I heard just how many minutes until each bus route was scheduled to arrive at that stop.

Snohomish County residents and travelers also can access Sound Transit and King County Metro Transit data at OneBusAway. In the case of data from King County, it is "real-time" based on GPS input from the buses as they travel their routes. Community Transit doesn't yet have that technology, so our data on OneBusAway is identical to what you see printed online and on paper, based on schedules, not actual arrivals.

While I'm talking about cool things other people have done to make transit information more accessible, see this map of all ORCA card retail and customer service locations. It's as up-to-date as the regional ORCA website (which is to say a little behind). For a current list of outlets in Snohomish County - without maps - see our web page.

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