If you haven’t been to the CTA web site recently – check it out. There is a new App Center page where you can
find the latest web applications to fit your individual transit needs. Got a smart phone? Here’s a smart way to make the most of it. Download the latest transit mobile applications
posted on the CTA web site “What we’ve started doing is to acknowledge the hard work of individual
developers and help our customers find some of the nifty apps that are out there and post the Transit App Center on transitchicago.com.” The CTA shares schedules, bus tracker information and other data with software developers interested in developing public transit applications. This data is available on the CTA’s Developer Center web page. “The way we share data is to simply post it on our website. If you want information from bus tracker you have to register, but otherwise
the information is free for anyone to download.” “They have a developer program, which has been out for a while now, which makes it really easy for developers to make their own apps.
So that’s really how we got started.” Jacob Ericksson is an assistant professor of computer
science at the University of Illinois Chicago. He developed the Transit Genie phone application for tourists and others unfamiliar with the CTA system. “You indicate where you want to go and Transit Genie will compute a number of routes of how you can get there, using both the schedule of the various transit systems and the real-time locations of the buses. Then it will compute routes based on all this information and figure out what’s the easiest quickest way to get there, right now.” Transit Genie was developed as part of a UIC research project. The app is free. As a researcher and professor I get paid by the university and various research funding agencies so we don’t need to charge a usage for it.” “That’s one of the nice things about the apps center. People who are interested in the data are taking it and doing their own things with it so it doesn’t cost the CTA or the public in general anything to have these apps developed.” The App Center has mobile apps for Android, Blackberry, iPhone and iPod touch. The CTA doesn’t create, license or endorse any of the apps, though they are screened before inclusion on the web page. “What we’re doing is basically giving the little
description of what each of these apps does and providing a link back to the software developer’s website Tony demonstrate with an Android smartphone. All he has to do is snap a picture of the
bar code on the screen and it’s captured on the phone. It’s that easy? Yes, it’s that easy. “you can look at the features, see other people’s reviews, and then install it.” It’s not just mobile device applications you
can find on the app center. Web and desktop apps are available too. Our hope is that the result of these efforts in all of these different groups of people Our hope is that the result of these efforts in all of these different groups of people is a really diverse array of applications that help all of our customers.” is a really diverse array of applications that help all of our customers.” So far, there are more than 300 developers who have register to use CTA’s data to design new transit software.