As our NJ Transit train riders know, we recently rolled out a premium service called “The Inside Track“. Subscribers currently get twelve amazing features…with more to come.
(Yes – there is “Inside Track” for Metro North and LIRR. It’s still “beta”…but we’d love to have you on-board)
So…why are we featured in the Wall Street Journal? NJT does not like the app we built.
- From today’s paper
- From yesterday’s WSJ blog
- (some subtle difference between the two)
You see, in order to make its data available to app developers, NJ Transit publishes a datafeed (an “API”/webservice for the techies).
That feed gives us the real-time information which we use on our web-based “Departureboard” (screenshots below)
One of the fields that NJT published was the track number…often before it was announced at NY Penn.
It validates what we suspected: track numbers can be known well in advance of when NJT decides to post/announce them. So…we put those track number into our new app. NJT did not like that.
There is more to the story…such as my notes from the meeting with NJT…and the fact that Clever Commute did nothing against the developer terms and conditions.
Contrary to what NJT has publically stated, we did not manipulate the data…and we did not predict any track numbers. All of the track data we use comes from them….via their technology.
I’m thrilled to report that the current users of Inside Track have been overwhelmingly supportive during this episode…and I appreciate that.
You are welcome to join the dialog…and make your voice heard.
- Feel free to let NJT know what you think – http://www.njtransit.com/tm/tm_servlet.srv?hdnPageAction=ContactUsTo (Click on Submit feedback to us)
- Add your comments to the articles at WSJ.com.
- Consider posting the story on your Facebook page…or Tweet it
- And you are a member of the media, I’d love to talk to you more about this. There are additional nuances here about technology, transportation, mobile apps, and even the role of a government-funded transit company.
A screenshot of our enhanced departureboard
A screenshot showing track history for a given train.