Waiting for the Bus Watercooler

Its been a bus-y week in the world of bus issues and here’s some stories that have kept us OpenPlans’ers chatting.
  • AC Transit Alameda Contra Costa has opened their bus schedule, bus route, bus stop and schedule data availableto developers  Check it out.
  • This website for shop owners along the B63 – uses our tracking data to power a display that can sit in shopkeeper’s windows along the route
  • Speaking of waiting for buses: LA’s bus bench contractor is allegedly taking its benches back after bailing of its contract, leaving hundreds just standing around, waiting for the bus.
  • Allentown’s LANta’s bus system introduces a new numbering scheme which categorizies types of service into blocks of 100’s.  Is it a user friendly scheme? An easy to understand and rational system?  Will it improve the individual’s recollection and understanding of the system?  Or is it just good for the scheduling department?
  • Remember the bus bell cord went away? And then how it came back? And how the New York Times wrote about it’s triumphant return.
  • NY’s MTA seeks a CTO for its bus division.
  • Bus Drivers are getting the respect they deserve –  67% of New Yorkers believe that bus drivers are respectful on the road. A much smaller number feels the same towards taxi drivers and motorists.  Bus drivers have a tough job and the wide majority do it flawlessly everyday – having to make all those stops?  People keep ringing the bell!
  • Off topic chat (quite frankly, there isn’t that much news about buses so we’ll have to talk about trains now) This Amtrak tra(c)king website, is wonderfully low-tech, amazingly informative and a pleasure to use.  Its a testament to reductive and simple designs working well.  Check out these views: train schedule, & train location.  It pulls open data from Amtrak’s website.  Cheers to Dixieland software.