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Metro pulls some of its real-time app data, citing security concerns

The news: Three weeks after launching a real-time data feed and satisfying a commitment to app developers, Metro has pulled some of the data, citing security concerns. The DC MetroHero app’s take: Metro no longer publishes the location of non-passenger trains, a change made for “operational and security reasons,” but that snarls train-arrival data for developers, who say they… Read more »

If Metrobus asked me to redesign its info brochures, I’d make them look like this

by Todd Fisk I’ve lived in DC and used Metrobus here for 14 years. I’m also a designer, and I have a few ideas about how to make the bus timetable brochures clearer for people using them to understand the system. Metrobus brochures could included a map like this to give riders a sense of… Read more »

Google’s robot cars recognize cyclists’ hand signals — better than most cyclists

Biking alongside manually driven cars can be a nightmare for both the biker and the driver. Bikers can be fast. They weave in and out of traffic and sometimes human drivers toe the line when deciding how much space to give them — and sometimes they don’t. But now, thanks to Google’s many in-house bikers,… Read more »

National Academies Find That Open Data is a No-Brainer for Transit Agencies

While transit agencies have long been measuring their performance based on the data they keep, a new world of “open data” is providing the opportunity for anyone to analyze and visualize performance in ways that have almost never been possible. The National Academies – which advises Congress on science, engineering, and medicine – has now… Read more »

New App Connects Coworkers to Ride Together

Commuters who regularly endure traffic jams and long travel times to work sometimes consider carpooling as an alternative, but it’s not always simple to find people to share a ride. A new app called Ride aims to change all that. Launched in April, Ride hopes to connect coworkers who have similar routes to work – reducing… Read more »

Should Uber Get Special Treatment? A Look at Sharing-Economy Rules

Sharing-economy companies like Uber, Lyft, and AirBnB continue to disrupt industries as they create services that are incredibly appealing to consumers. Whatever your opinion on these companies, the decision regarding if, and how much, they should be regulated is important. It will help determine the speed of technological innovation in the U.S. and the direction… Read more »

Transit Agencies Need Online Savvy to Influence Politics

Surveying and research modeling for transit ballot measures typically happens in the final crunch before elections. But Scott Wilkinson, founder of AlphaVu, makes a compelling case for transit agencies and transportation strategists to stay focused on how people are talking about them 365 days a year. “In transit, we’re feeling gun-shy. We’re used to people… Read more »

Uber, Lyft Get a Carpool Competitor in D.C.

Boston-based Bridj recently launched limited service between Capitol Hill and Dupont Circle in Washington D.C. to help fill a niche not being targeted by buses. Another company, Split, launched just a couple days ago and is similar to Uber and Lyft in that you order a car to your location to taxi you to your destination. The… Read more »

How Transit Agencies Can Manage the “Blizzard” of Negativity on Twitter

Agencies that use Twitter to respond to users’ complaints or answer questions get more positive Twitter reaction and more civil discourse online, according to Lisa Schweitzer, the author of a recent award-winning study analyzing tweets of public transit agencies. “It’s about the marketing potential of social media — a lot of public transit agencies are… Read more »