Arcweb devs built an app that predicts weather delays on SEPTA's Regional Rail - Technical.ly Philly

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Aug. 16, 2017 12:31 pm

Arcweb devs built an app that predicts weather delays on SEPTA’s Regional Rail

“Traveler,” which uses SEPTA's open API, is available on iOS and Android.
A SEPTA train chugs away from Overbrook Station.

A SEPTA train chugs away from Overbrook Station.

(Video by YouTube user Jarrett Stewart, used under a Creative Commons license)

Looks like there’s another app for us riders of SEPTA’s (at times) beleaguered Regional Rail system.

Arcweb Technologies developers — many of them commuters themselves — just launched Traveler, a mobile app that uses predictive analytics to forecast whether or not your train home will be delayed due to weather.

Using SEPTA’s open API, the app uses machine learning to make predictions on weather-related train delays before they pop up on SEPTA’s official app. The system analyzes historical train arrival and departure stats and current and past weather conditions to make the forecasts.

Traveler is a product of ArcWeb Technologies Lab, comprised of devs Mike Balcerzak, Ryan O’Boril, Greg Bright, Shahrukh Tarapore, Erik Mulvaney, Ryan Sailor and Jeffrey Lunger. Tarapore, ArcWeb’s head of engineering, said the Lab is an initiative that’s currently being formalized but has more projects coming through the pipeline.

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Lunger, a Bala Cynwyd resident who rides into town on the Cynwyd or Paoli-Thorndale lines, said that developing the app was also an exercise in using React Native, a “cross-platform framework” that allows developers build mobile apps using only JavaScript.

“We built Traveler to help Regional Rail riders get to their destinations on time,” Lunger said in an email. “As a rider myself, this is always a challenge. As a team, Traveler was a great way experiment with React Native.”

Though the app was not developed for SEPTA, Lunger did drop a hint on his blog post:

“Full disclosure: Arcweb Technologies did not build this app for SEPTA, nor is SEPTA an Arcweb Technologies client. But, SEPTA, we’re always open to chat!”

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