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The NextBus feed is good, but it's vendor specific. If WMATA chose to replace nextbus, all the apps would break, thus it created it's own. That and Nextbus deals with bus predictions. Last time i checked there were a good real of riders who depended on the rail side of things.
SIRI v2 (whatever nyc is using) is a good suggestion for WMATA to move to. A good way to entice app developers to move and ask for a standard is the fact they can resell their apps for other areas across the country by re-pointing the data source instead of having to develop a whole new interface.
If you back off the WMATA focus for a second and do a cross comparison on what transit agencies around the country are doing, you'll see that it's a complete mix of non standardization.
NYC - SIRI (for bus) and GTFS-realtime (for rail)
LA - internally developed API and Nextbus API
CTA - Clever Devices BusTime API, separate rail API by QuicTrak
SEPTA - internally developed API
Muni - nextbus API
WMATA - internally developed API that includes bus and rail
comparatively they're not better or worse off. Since no one has a standard that's universal they went with a solution that works. Is it the best one? hard to say, but it's in line with the rest of the country.

by RC on Jan 21, 2013 6:35 pm • linkreport

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