MTA Releases iOS App To Track NYC Subway

By Johnny Wills email: | Dec 31, 2012 12:39 PM EST

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) recently released its Subway Time iOS app for New York straphangers, which will give street level information of NYC's popular subways.

MTA's Subway Time app was released on Dec. 28 and delivers details on seven lines to iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices. The app displays train arrival time for 156 station on 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 subway lines and S 42nd Street Shuttle line.

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MTA Subway Time app is available for downloads on the App Store. MTA is also offering the same service via its Web app.

"This is what generations of dreamers and futurists have waited for. The ability to get subway arrival time at street level is here. The days of rushing to a subway station only to find yourself waiting motionless in a state of uncertainty are coming to an end. Now, you can know from the comfort of your home or office whether to hasten to the station, or grab a cup of coffee as part of a leisurely walk," MTA CEO Joseph Lhota said in a statement.

Synchronized with the Web app, MTA Subway Time also displays service changes and real-time service interruptions. MTA Subway Time app can handle 5,000 requests per second. The data comes from a feed that is ready to be used by third-party app developers and MTA commits to open data.

MTA Subway Time is a beta version app and the interface is basic. It lists per minute arrival time by stop on limited stations. Additionally, the MTA Subway Time app also lacks basic features like location-based features, such as station maps and directions.

Due to lack of search functionality, users have to choose a line and scroll down the list to find the stop. However, for an app in test phase, few compromises are acceptable. According to user reviews on the App Store, it is sluggish and not optimized for iPhone 5's Retina display.

Per The Wall Street Journal, the real-time train location data comes from new sensors that MTA installed along the first set of lines, costing more than $228 million, over the past 11 years. The remaining two-third of the system will take years to cover and the project will not be complete before 2016.

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