Real-time train data? Now there’s an app for that

When the T released real-time bus data to third-party smartphone app developers a year ago, riders were thrilled but really wanted to know where their train was.

Train data was finally released officially on Friday when Bostonbusmap added the Blue, Orange and Red Lines to its app. This week, the maker of the popular Catch the Bus app will release Catch the T.

“I’m excited to see what happens, obviously this is a delayed process,” said BostInnovation.com editor Greg Gomer, 25, of Brookline. “My qualm is, I live on the Green Line.”

Real-time apps for the above-ground trolleys are a few years off because it uses a different signaling system, but the commuter rail will be added in months.

“It’s always one more,” MBTA GM Rich Davey joked of the Green Line gripes. “Is the technology there, absolutely. Do I have the millions of dollars today to roll that out, I don’t. We’re really focused on improving reliability to service.

“The Green Line will be the last. I know it’s the gold standard for many customers, but it’s something we’ll work hard at over the next many months.”

The T also installed boards at Back Bay and Ruggles stations to ease riders’ anticipation.

“You always see people peering down over the pit, down the line, to see the headlight of the train,” Davey said. “By having displays both on phones and at stations can alleviate folks’ anxiety.” 



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