Catching up on news from the last few days, the MTA made a major announcement concerning their trip planner program. The agency announced a new form of service called “Trip Planner On the Go!”. The new service allows users of a cell phone, PDA, or Blackberry with internet access to obtain travel itineraries from NYC Transit. Here is the press release from the MTA about the new service:
Riders on the go who need fast, accurate travel information have a new tool to rely on: Trip Planner On the Go! Whether from a cellular phone, PDA or Blackberry, users with mobile access to the web can obtain travel itineraries from NYC Transit while standing outside a subway station or sitting in a restaurant. Trip Planner On the Go!, released in a Beta (test) version, will provide users with practically the same itineraries they would receive if they were using a desk or lap top computer.
“Trip Planner has proved to be a very popular service,” said Paul J. Fleuranges, NYC Transit Vice President for Corporate Communications. “Every day more than 5,000 customers plan their trips using our on-line service and we expect that number will grow now that users don’t have to be sitting at a desk top in order to tap into the Trip Planner data base.”
Using the Trip Planner On the Go! mobile interface, riders can plan a trip by choosing from local bus, express bus, subway service or a combination of all three. The Trip Planner default is set for local bus and subway. A rider can also request a trip requiring handicapped access.
Once starting and destination points have been entered, riders will receive up to three travel options displayed, depending on the time they want to travel and mode. Service Advisory information on planned disruptions in subway service is attached to all Trip Planner itineraries if they apply, and itineraries can be e-mailed.
Another feature of Trip Planner On the Go! Beta is that it allows riders to check for Service Alerts before they head to the subway. Service Alerts contain information regarding unplanned disruptions in subway service and are posted on the MTA website at www.mta.info and on the Trip Planner desktop home page at http://tripplanner.mta.info. The same information will also appear on the On the Go! start screen. Because Alert information changes, riders are urged to make sure they ‘refresh’ their mobile screens.
Trip Planner On the Go! was designed for a mobile platform by the Internet Technology Group of NYC Transit’s Technology & Information Services Division. The back end programming for On the Go! was developed using XHTML technology and the latest Microsoft Dot Net Framework in a clustered environment.
“The application was developed using the latest web development techniques to seamlessly deliver web content to mobile devices,” said Dale McCook, Chief Officer, Technology Partnering at NYC Transit. “A majority of all smart phones – those that are browser enabled, and PDA’s, all of which are browser enabled – can support the application, which does not use a lot of Mobile device memory,” said Sohaib Mallick, Senior Director of NYC Transit’s Internet Technologies group.
Trip Planner is currently used by more than 5,000 customers daily to obtain travel itineraries for destinations within the five boroughs using the NYC Transit local, express bus and subway network. Travel itineraries can also be obtained for MTA Bus Company routes and Staten Island Railway.
xoxo Transit Blogger