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Thread: Transit Fantasy Maps

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    New TTC route maps and vehicle stop poles...

    http://www.blogto.com/city/2013/02/t...nd_stop_poles/


  2. #2087

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    What the TTC really should do is make iOS/Android app. Almost everyone has a smartphone. It is the single best thing they can do improve customer service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheTigerMaster View Post
    What the TTC really should do is make iOS/Android app. Almost everyone has a smartphone. It is the single best thing they can do improve customer service.
    Who is "almost everyone"? Last year it was about 45-50%. Does the transit user profile align with the stats for the general population?

  4. #2089

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wrenkin View Post
    Who is "almost everyone"? Last year it was about 45-50%. Does the transit user profile align with the stats for the general population?
    Really? 45 - 50%? Your numbers are outdated. According to Rogers most recent quarterly report, 70% of their Wireless subscribers were on smartphones. That leaves just 30% on feature-phones, mobile hotspots and other miscellaneous devices.

    In any case a mobile app would be very helpful for customer service. Especially if you could see delays, plan routes and use the device for fare payment. There is little that the TTC could do that would have a greater impact imho.
    Last edited by TheTigerMaster; 2013-Feb-25 at 19:03.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTigerMaster View Post
    Really? 45 - 50%? Your numbers are outdated. According to Rogers most recent quarterly report, 70% of their Wireless subscribers were on smartphones. That leaves just 30% on feature-phones, mobile hotspots and other miscellaneous devices.

    In any case a mobile app would be very helpful for customer service. Especially if you could see delays, plan routes and use the device for fare payment. There is little that the TTC could do that would have a greater impact imho.
    I couldn't agree more. Nextbus has been a godsend for my daily streetcar trip, but it would be great if it (or a TTC-designed app) could also communicate messages about the line (delays, detours, etc) and plan an entire trip (a la google maps). Using my phone to pay a fare would also be great.

  6. Default

    I'm not feeling these new maps. At a glance, they're hard to read and orient yourself as to where you are. Maybe people who use the TTC more would get it. But I'd expect to be able to orient myself based on the subway system, and the subways are pretty much invisible on these maps.

  7. #2092

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hank View Post
    I couldn't agree more. Nextbus has been a godsend for my daily streetcar trip, but it would be great if it (or a TTC-designed app) could also communicate messages about the line (delays, detours, etc) and plan an entire trip (a la google maps). Using my phone to pay a fare would also be great.
    It amazes me that the TTC hasn't done this yet. Creating a high quality mobile app will cost only a few thousand dollars at most and the its impact will have at least the same impact that next stop has.

  8. #2093

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheTigerMaster View Post
    Really? 45 - 50%? Your numbers are outdated. According to Rogers most recent quarterly report, 70% of their Wireless subscribers were on smartphones. That leaves just 30% on feature-phones, mobile hotspots and other miscellaneous devices.
    And what percentage don't have cell phones?

    Or don't use data on cell phones. I know people with smartphones who only use phone and text.

    I don't see any need for TTC to make app. That costs money. They've spent their money on making the data public. Anyone can make an app. I wouldn't be surprised if realtime transit data is part of Google Maps app at some point ...

  9. #2094

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    Quote Originally Posted by nfitz View Post
    And what percentage don't have cell phones?

    Or don't use data on cell phones. I know people with smartphones who only use phone and text.
    You really have to be kidding me. Every time I ride to TTC there are countless people using their smartphones and there are more every day. Even if only 33% of riders have smartphones with data, investing in a good mobile app would very likely be the single best and cheapest investment in customer service the TTC can make. I don't see how you can possibly deny this.

    I don't see any need for TTC to make app. That costs money. They've spent their money on making the data public.
    We're talking anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars for this. Not hundreds of thousands or millions. It will hardly make a dent in the TTCs pocketbook and I'm almost certain that fares from the small amount of extra ridership this app will generate will more than make up for the tiny development cost.

    Anyone can make an app. I wouldn't be surprised if realtime transit data is part of Google Maps app at some point ...
    If I remember correctly the TTC's NextBus API only provides vehicle location and estimated arrival times for surface routes. It doesn't even have delay notifications. The TTC would be able to tap into a much more extensive data set. Just one of the things a TTC designed mobile app would be able to do is send push notifications to a device to alert customers the moment there is a delay along their route. No third party TTC app is capable of this.

  10. #2095

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheTigerMaster View Post
    You really have to be kidding me. Every time I ride to TTC there are countless people using their smartphones and there are more every day. Even if only 33% of riders have smartphones with data, investing in a good mobile app would very likely be the single best and cheapest investment in customer service the TTC can make. I don't see how you can possibly deny this.
    Because the last thing we want is TTC to get into the app business. They are providing the data. There are hundreds of transit systems in North America providing similar data. The app will appear. And likely a better app than what the TTC would spend a lot of money on.

    Look at all the trouble they went creating the on-line Trip Planner - http://www.ttc.ca/Trip_planner/index.jsp

    It's not bad ... but does anyone use it? No. Because Google Maps released one at about the same time and does it better, using TTC's own data.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTigerMaster View Post
    We're talking anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars for this. Not hundreds of thousands or millions.
    If you think app development costs so little, then you really have absolutely no idea how this stuff works. I'd think it would be 5-digits if they were to try and buy some off-the-shelf app and have it modified for their purposed. And easily 6 digits from scratch, probably more. Then there's maintenance ... forever. There are already very good 3rd party apps, and they will only get better.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTigerMaster View Post
    If I remember correctly the TTC's NextBus API only provides vehicle location and estimated arrival times for surface routes. It doesn't even have delay notifications. The TTC would be able to tap into a much more extensive data set.
    And yet some the existing private apps do already incorporate TTC delay notifications, they simply cross-reference the route your using with the service alert feed.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTigerMaster View Post
    Just one of the things a TTC designed mobile app would be able to do is send push notifications to a device to alert customers the moment there is a delay along their route. No third party TTC app is capable of this.
    Doesn't http://www.ttc.ca/Service_Advisories...ices/index.jsp already do this?

    I don't see why a 3rd party app can't integrate service alerts.

  11. #2096

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    Quote Originally Posted by nfitz View Post
    Because the last thing we want is TTC to get into the app business. They are providing the data. There are hundreds of transit systems in North America providing similar data. The app will appear. And likely a better app than what the TTC would spend a lot of money on.
    Okay maybe you're right. But for that to happen the TTC will seriously have to upgrade their NextBus API. It's really lacking at the moment.

    If you think app development costs so little, then you really have absolutely no idea how this stuff works. I'd think it would be 5-digits if they were to try and buy some off-the-shelf app and have it modified for their purposed. And easily 6 digits from scratch.
    I don't know the details of the Commissions back end so I can't comment on an exact price. But this application would not be built from scratch. The TTC already has the NextBus system set up. I presume that the system would need a few upgrades. Unless you have any information to the contrary I'm going to bet that it would be less than $100,000 depending on how the TTC organizes their vehicle data. That is still likely much less than other TTC customer service programs that will have a much smaller impact.

    And yet some the existing private apps do already incorporate TTC delay notifications.
    Wasn't aware of this. The TTC applications I see on the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store only have vehicle location and estimated arrival information for surface routes.

    Doesn't http://www.ttc.ca/Service_Advisories...ices/index.jsp already do this?

    I don't see why a 3rd party app can't integrate service alerts.
    The TTC would have to allow app devs to do that. Developers are at the mercy of the TTC. There is only so much they can do with vehicle position and arrival information. The TTC could do so much more including mobile fare payment via Passbook on iOS and NFC on Android and Blackberry.
    Last edited by TheTigerMaster; 2013-Feb-25 at 21:18.

  12. #2097

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheTigerMaster View Post
    Wasn't aware of this. The TTC applications I see on the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store only have vehicle location and estimated arrival information for surface routes.
    Ah ... when I say app, I'm including websites (given I have a Blackberry, and there aren't any actual apps). http://whereismystreetcar.appspot.com/ shows service alerts, which it sucks in from @TTCnotices twitter feed - I'd think any site or app could do that.

    Though actually I find TransSee - http://doconnor.homeip.net/TransSee/RouteList.php?a=ttc of more utility from the Blackberry (minus the service alerts).

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTigerMaster View Post
    The TTC would have to allow app devs to do that.
    Why would TTC have to allow app devs to simply use a TTC twitter feed?

  13. #2098
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Exiled to Portage & Main (formerly Harbord St.)
    Posts
    304

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Coruscanti Cognoscente View Post
    I'm not feeling these new maps. At a glance, they're hard to read and orient yourself as to where you are. Maybe people who use the TTC more would get it. But I'd expect to be able to orient myself based on the subway system, and the subways are pretty much invisible on these maps.
    There's a key map in the bottom right corner showing the full subway and the relevant surface routes (example). I think it's pretty effective. Although I do agree that it might be nice to show more of the subway on the main map too.

    Actually, I'm really impressed with these maps -- maybe not perfect, but hugely more useful than what's currently up. I love that the central part of the map shows all of the local streets and pinpoints the exact locations of all the nearby bus stops.

  14. #2099
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Ottawa (formerly Downtown Toronto)
    Posts
    5,645

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTigerMaster View Post
    What the TTC really should do is make iOS/Android app. Almost everyone has a smartphone. It is the single best thing they can do improve customer service.
    OC Transpo in Ottawa has an iOS app. Officially released by them too. Works quite well, and is quite accurate.
    Last edited by gweed123; 2013-Feb-26 at 00:35.
    Twitter: @JAndrewJ86

  15. #2100

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    Quote Originally Posted by gweed123 View Post
    OC Transpo in Ottawa has an iOS app. Officially released by them too. Works quite well, and is quite accurate.
    How much did it cost? Who is going to upgrade it when Apple upgrades their iOS? And what about Blackberry and Android?

    Also, I didn't think OC Transpo's app had realtime bus information - just service announcements. And I also didn't think it could offer you routing suggesting from A to B. I thought it was more just a library of schedules and stops - and at best could tell you where the nearest routes and stops were.

    Sure, an app like this might have some utility (it would be similar to GO's app). But it isn't all that one needs. It doesn't do the difficult stuff.

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