OpenMBTA is a project by developer Daniel Choi and other volunteers whose goal is to promote the use of public transportation by providing free open source transit apps for Boston area residents and travelers. Their first project was a slick location aware iPhone app combining the MTBA’s GTFS schedule data with Google maps to create interactactive map-based schedules for Boston’s bus, rail and ferry transit services. Last month, OpenMBTA launched a mobile web version of the app at openmbta.org/mobile.
The main feature of the mobile web version of OpenMBTA is an interactive schedule for all of Boston’s transit services. After picking the transit mode (bus, commuter rail, subway or boat) and route from a list you see a table showing the next four scheduled arrival times for each stop on the chosen line. Clicking a stop takes you to a Google map mashup with colored pins. Red pins indicate stops, if a pin is purple it means that a transit vehicle is scheduled to arrive there shortly. OpenMBTA is location enabled, if your browser supports geo-location and you enable it, a blue pin will indicate your location. Green pins show route starting points.
OpenMBTA also displays delays and service changes from the MTBA’s TAlerts feed and crowd-sourced transit chatter from Twitter’s #mbta hashtag. OpenMBTA’s next goal is adding real time arrival information to the app and mobile web service.
I discovered OpenMBTA at citygoround.org, which promotes open transit data and features a directory of transit apps and web services.
Ratings: Content Usability
Ready.mobi Score: 3 – “Fair”
Mobile Link: openmbta.org/mobile