Metro developer beta

LA Metro has created something very impressive. The beta version of the Metro developers site just launched.

One corner of the Metro developers site.
One corner of the Metro developers site.

They offer Google Transit Feed Data, and REST+JSON and XML interfaces for Los Angeles area agencies, stop location data, and schedule information. The site also has GIS shapefiles available for download.

Beyond making data available the site also provides some support resources to help developers do something with it. There is a terminology guide. The site also is a platform for 3rd party developers and LA Metro developers to interact. Most pages have a “comment” option for logged in users, and there is a developer blog.

“Beta” is a uncomfortable concept for some transit agencies; the idea of releasing something that is new and maybe even unfinished is an unfamiliar approach. But Metro appears to have recognized the benefit of the public beta approach — real-world use testing and feedback. By all appearances, this beta site is set up to anticipate and work with change. That makes sense because transit evolves and technology moves quickly. I’m looking forward to seeing the progress.

Aaron is the founding principal of Trillium Solutions, Inc. He brings experience that includes 13 years of experience in public transportation, with knowledge of fixed-route transportation, paratransit, rural transportation, and active transportation modes. Aaron is a recognized expert in developing data standards, web-application design, digital communications, and online marketing strategy. He originally developed Trillium’s GTFS Manager, and has played a key role in the development of the GTFS data specification since 2007.