Neighborland’s “Ideas in Action” allows the ideas of fellow site users and innovators to see their ideas come to life one way or another. Open Transit Data was one of those ideas that is now becoming available to outside groups, the public, instead of just being shared with the transit agencies.
Transport for NOLA partnered with Neighborland’s platform to launch a campaign asking the RTA to release their data to the public as soon as possible. As of this week, their wish came true. Users can now text for transit information services, view data on smart phone apps or websites, and have access to real-time arrival signage displays at transit stops. By making route and real-time GPS data available to the public, streetcar riders and bus goers should be able to wait less and have more successful commutes.
Rachel Heiligman, Executive Director of Transport for NOLA, explains: “Now that the data is open, the rest lies in the hands of NOLA’s gifted and growing tech community.”
The RTA is finally growing again post Katrina. Still, the system is not as big as it once was. According the RTA’s route listing archive, they had 89 bus routes pre Katrina and only 34 today. With this new, public data available, the system will continue to grow and become easier and easier to use.
For those of you in New Orleans, Transport for NOLA and the RTA are hosting a training for software developers interested in using the agency’s transit data tomorrow night at 5:30pm. The event will be held at the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority Headquarters.