MBTA sets national example for mobile apps

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The MBTA may not be reliable all of the time.

It may not even be the most enjoyable mode of transportation, according to the hundreds of tweets per day that pick on the public transit system.

But one thing they are doing right is hosting the best mobile apps in the nation.

According to the United States Department of Transportation (that’s like the Mark Zuckerberg of the country’s transit departments) the MBTA was singled out for leading the way nationally in facilitating smart phone transit apps.

According to a USDOT “FastLane” blog article posted this week, more people use public transportation when they have access to more accurate information about the location and arrival time of the next bus or train.  

In its review of 276 transit agencies, they found only 15 that offer riders real-time information.

They pointed at the MBTA as one of the leaders.

“Boston’s MBTA had one solution.  They discovered that opening the data from their system to the public actually reduced their own costs because app developers and everyday citizens took the data and designed ways to make it useful to riders,” the USDOT article said.  “One coffee shop actually has installed a real-time countdown sign that tells customers when the next train is due at a nearby station.”

Boom. You like apps, America?

How do you like them apps?

While the T might shoulder the most debt burden in the country, at least we have cool apps to make it feel like everything will be all right.

Here is a list of some of the MBTAs apps you can use:

Where is the T?

T-on-time

Track my transit

OpenMBTA for iPad

Catch the T



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