January 22nd, 2008

Trimet Tracker for your iPhone


Anyone who has ridden public transportation knows the frustration of missing a bus or waiting for a train that is never going to come. Portland public transit, for all the lauding it receives, is no different.

That’s why Matt King, the prolific Portland-based master of the making APIs do cool and useful things, has released a new application for the iPhone to help Portland folks get the TriMet public transit info they need in a format that is actually legible on an iPhone screen.

So I present to to you the Trimet Tracker, an iPhone app that allows you to easily find out when the next bus is going to arrive at your stop. Just enter your Stop ID and you’ll get a list of all the arriving buses (or MAX or Street Car), what time they will be showing up, and how long you have to wait. If you don’t know your Stop ID, you can also do a quick search by picking a route and selecting from all the stops on that route.

To make it even easier, you can also save any stop to your favorites list so you don’t have to enter a Stop ID or search for your stop again. Just hit ‘Favorites’ and select which stop you saved.

The most interesting part about this whole story? It’s written off of a TriMet API. Who knew TriMet even had an API?

Don’t have an iPhone? Don’t ride public transit in Portland? Getting tired of me asking questions? Have no fear. You can still use some of Matt’s other tools, like TwitterWhere, KnitMap, and Unthirsty. (At the time of publishing, Unthirsty was down for maintenance.) (It’s back up.)

For more information, see Matt King’s post on Trimet Tracker.

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Background that may help (or may not)

8 Responses to “Trimet Tracker for your iPhone”

  1. Only problem is that Tri-Met doesn’t bother update critical info like service interuptions.

    For all the praise that Tri-Met gets, they have a long way to go with realtime info.

  2. Matt King says:

    Ooops, Unthirsty.com is back up. :-) Thanks for the writeup about Trimet Tracker.

    As for service interruptions, there is a part of the API that shows whether the route is on ‘detour’. I don’t think it shows service interruptions, but at least it warns you that bus your may now show up because of a detour.

  3. AdamD says:

    Here’s that Trimet API for other peeps interested:
    http://developer.trimet.org/

  4. Tri-Met API?! My head a-splode!

    I’ve always thought that a lot of opportunities exist to construct interesting web sites with data from transit authorities. However, after reading about the guy who made iPod-friendly subway maps for New York getting a cease-and-desist from the MTA, I figured most transit authorities would be just as litigious, and certainly wouldn’t be providing APIs to their precious data!

  5. steve says:

    Android app incoming :)

  6. John says:

    Dang… Wish I would have known about this before I made mine! http://www.myTrimet.com

  7. Jeremy Logan says:

    There’s an Android app called “Portland Transit” available in the market. More info at http://www.killer-robots.com/Portland-Transit

  8. [...] Today found this great post, here is a quick excerpt : So I present to to you the Trimet Tracker, an iPhone app that allows you to easily find out when the next bus is going to arrive at your stop. Just enter your Stop ID and you’ll get a list of all the arriving buses (or MAX or Street … Read the rest of this great post Here [...]


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