Patrick Cassidy, the developer behind phillysubway, has a theory about mass transit iPhone applications.
“Transit systems have quirks and you need to be user of the system to write an app for it,” he says.
A SEPTA rider and the lone employee at Caffeine Fish, Cassidy followed up regional rail scheduling application Trainboard with phillysubway, an iPhone app that provides up-to-the-minute subway schedules. Users can hold their iPhone normally for the North/South Broad Street Line, or turn their phone sideways for the (mostly) East/West Market Frankford Line.
A functionality that, Cassidy says, had him fearful that Apple would reject the application form its App Store.
[Disclosure: Caffeine Fish is a Technically Philly advertiser. This post is not part of any advertising package.]
Currently, the app does not take into account any subway delays, something Cassidy says is due to the data set.
“GTFS is good for putting stations and times on the map, but it doesn’t have an aspect for a delay feed. Someone needs to come up with an open data format for relate time transit information,” he says. Cassidy added that SEPTA, thanks to help from Google, has embraced making its data easily available for developers.
To close out Caffeine Fish’s series of SEPTA iPhone applications, Cassidy says he’d like to create an application to track the location of SEPTA buses, displaying their average speed and current location.
As of now, phillysubway has 800 users and is free to download.