Thursday, March 28, 2013

Google Maps Adds Real-Time Subway Departure Data

Google announced on Wednesday that its popular mapping app Google Maps has incorporated real time arrival and departure information for several New York City subway lines including the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 trains as well as the Times Square Shuttle.
That’s not the first time that Google Maps users will see a departure time at a subway station for those train lines. But previous departure information, like that provided for the rest of the subway system, is based on the scheduled departures of subway trains.
Google isn't the first private developer to pull data from the Mass Transit Authority (MTA) for developing an app; there are a couple of popular apps out there already including NextStop, SchedNYC and others, however Google is definitely the most well known. 

While this is a good start, there's still another hurdle which is getting the same real time information for the other two-thirds of the NYC subway system. Unfortunately those tracks don't have the same signal system and are several years and millions of dollars away.

MTA engineers are reportedly working on a temporary solution to the problem. 

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