Friday August 17, 2018 11:53 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
The developers of the Transit app this week announced the expansion of real-time crowdsourced data for buses, trains, streetcars, ferries, and so forth to 175 cities across the United States, Canada, and Europe. Normally, the locations of public transportation vehicles are pulled from a transit agency's data feed, which can take anywhere from 10 seconds to five minutes to update. This can result in the app showing a bus approaching a certain stop, for example, when in reality it has already passed by—without you on it. To solve this problem, the Transit app has turned to crowdsourced data from opted-in users of GO, its step-by-step navigation feature. GO itself isn't new. The feature automatically tracks your transit vehicle, walking speed, and location in real time, notifying you exactly when to leave to catch your ride, and when to disembark. The feature can also reroute you and provide adjusted ETAs when unforeseen changes or delays arise. Now, when users enable GO, they will also be helping others. Once a rider opts into GO on a bus or train, for example, the Transit app will start broadcasting the vehicle's real-time location, second-by-second, to riders down the line. In general, this greatly improves the location of a vehicle versus agency data. This means you can watch your vehicle approach—in actual, second-by-second real-time—on the map, whenever someone on that vehicle is using GO. The team behind Transit has been testing real-time crowdsourced data for nearly two years. Over that time, they've generated data for "millions of trips,"