Category Archives: Trip Tools

Announcing the Tour PDX App Contest winners

Tour PDX App Contest logoBibiana McHugh is TriMet’s IT Manager of Geographic Information Systems and Location-Based Services.

This post was updated April 16, 2012.

Last Thursday, I was privileged to announce the grand-prize winner and runner-up of the Tour PDX App Contest at Ignite SAO at the Alberta Rose Theater in NE Portland.

TriMet, the City of Portland and Travel Portland sponsored the contest to solicit applications for the web and mobile devices that make it easy for visitors to get to the many great attractions the Portland metro area offers, using TriMet’s open data and City of Portland’s open data. We were looking for apps that would keep visitors talking about how easy it is to get around here—an app that would keep them coming back to the Portland metro area again and again.

Grand prize winner: Transit Board Hotel

We awarded the grand prize to Chris Smith and Matt Conway of Portland Transport for their submission, Transit Board Hotel, an application for the Transit Appliance platform. It is designed to be displayed on large-screen TVs in hotel lobbies, airport terminals and other locations where travelers may be. It provides suggestions for destinations in Portland (complete with pictures) and tells travelers how to get to each destination using TriMet. The entire experience can be transferred to a user’s smartphone by way of a companion mobile app.

Runner-up: SeatMate

Edwin Knuth, a web developer specializing in scientific and geographic applications, submitted the runner-up. His application, SeatMate, is a mobile web app that allows transit riders to interact with other passengers on their bus or MAX through a real-time chat.

In a few weeks, we’ll be unveiling links to the applications and adding them to the TriMet App Center. In the meanwhile, congratulations again to our winners!

TALK ABOUT IT: Discuss this post on Facebook

 

Update April 16, 2012: Transit Board Hotel and SeatMate are now available in the TriMet App Center.

Bibiana McHugh

I have worked in TriMet’s Information Technology Department since 1997 and currently lead a team of innovative web developers and analysts as the IT Manager of Geographic Information Systems and Location-Based Services. I lead several open data and open source software initiatives including opentripplanner.org, maps.trimet.org, rtp.trimet.org, developer.trimet.org, trimet.org/apps. After initiating collaboration with Google for the first release of Google Transit, I helped pioneer the now worldwide standard General Transit Feed Spec (GTFS). I received my degree in Geography from the University of Kansas.

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“QR codes” coming to stops and stations

An example of a QR code at a shelter.

Jeremy Ferguson is TriMet’s Customer Information Manager.

Soon, riders with smartphones will have one more way to get real-time arrival information when they’re out and about.

Last fall, we began posting barcodes (known as “QR” or “Quick Response” codes) at bus stops and rail stations.

If you have an internet-enabled smartphone, you can scan these codes to get real-time arrival information, schedules and an area map. You just need to install a free QR code reader app.

Our customer information team is rolling out QR codes gradually, at bus stops with shelters first. By September, all bus shelters with printed schedules will have them, as well as all MAX and WES stations.

Of course, you can always use m.trimet.org, our mobile website, to get real-time service information. Just like many of the apps in the TriMet App Center, it finds your current location automatically using your phone’s GPS feature. For everyone else with regular phones, you can call or text.

If you use QR codes at your stop or station, we want to know what you think and how it’s working for you. Email us at mobile@trimet.org with your feedback.

DISCUSS THIS ON FACEBOOK: Do you use QR codes? Will you use them to get arrival information?

Jeremy Ferguson

I work in TriMet’s marketing department managing on-street customer information. I oversee the production and distribution of brochures and schedules, customer information displays at stops and stations, and electronic information display content.

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Next-generation Trip Planner combines transit, walking and biking

Preview the new Portland Regional Trip Planner
Bibiana McHugh is TriMet’s IT Manager of Geographic Information Systems and Location-Based Services.

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of delivering the keynote at the Pacific Northwest Drupal Summit at PSU, where I announced the beta release of TriMet’s new Portland Regional Trip Planner, the first of its kind for a U.S. transit agency.

What makes this Trip Planner different? For the first time, you can get transit, biking and walking directions in a single itinerary—something not even Google Maps does at this time. So not only is it easier to plan multimodal trips, you can get more efficient routes, which cuts down on your travel time.

Here’s what you can do with it:

  • Plan trips combining transit, biking and walking, in a single itinerary
  • Specify your biking preferences for quickest, flattest or safest routes
  • View an elevation chart of your trip
  • View car-sharing locations, so you can easily plan transit or bike trips to Zipcars
  • View up-to-date bike routes and walking paths

The app uses OpenStreetMap, a wiki-like map, to keep bike routes and walking paths up-to-date. It also allows for future inclusion of other transit systems, such as C-TRAN and SMART. Even better, it was built from the ground up with open-source software, which means it was less expensive to develop, and the technology can be used by other agencies worldwide.

This project has been two years in the making, and I’m delighted to finally be able to share it with our riders. It started in 2009, when we partnerned with non-profit OpenPlans and assembled a team of talented developers from around the world to help out. Metro provided funding through its Regional Travel Options grant program.

You can preview the new Trip Planner at rtp.trimet.org. (It’s in beta, which means we’re testing it out with users for a few months. Eventually, it will replace the map trip planner at trimet.org.)

I’m hopeful that over time, this app will help encourage more people to leave their cars at home and bike or walk part or all of the way instead. (It’s already got people talking, and the project was even featured on the White House blog.)

WEIGH IN ON FACEBOOK: Will TriMet’s new Trip Planner motivate you to take more bike/transit trips?

Bibiana McHugh

I have worked in TriMet’s Information Technology Department since 1997 and currently lead a team of innovative web developers and analysts as the IT Manager of Geographic Information Systems and Location-Based Services. I lead several open data and open source software initiatives including opentripplanner.org, maps.trimet.org, rtp.trimet.org, developer.trimet.org, trimet.org/apps. After initiating collaboration with Google for the first release of Google Transit, I helped pioneer the now worldwide standard General Transit Feed Spec (GTFS). I received my degree in Geography from the University of Kansas.

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6 new apps in the TriMet App Center

A third-party TriMet mobile app on an iPhoneThanks to our fabulous developer community, six new transit apps have been added to the TriMet App Center:

  • allSchedules for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Commute for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • MyMet for web browsers and various mobile devices
  • RealTime Transit for Windows Phone 7
  • Transit Appliance for any monitor or TV with a VGA, DVI or HDMI input
  • TransitTimes Portland for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad

These are just a few of the free and commercial applications available from third-party developers using TriMet’s open data.

Check out all the apps in the TriMet App Center

Dave Whipple

I'm TriMet’s manager of marketing and rider communications. I oversee the agency's web and mobile initiatives and help build useful and usable online tools for riders. I also moonlight as a musician in my spare time.

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Smart transit tools for your smartphone

TriMet's mobile websiteIf you use a smartphone (such as BlackBerry®, iPhone® or Android®), you can access TriMet tools and information quickly and easily at m.trimet.org.

Our mobile-friendly site loads fast and is easy to navigate, with the most popular rider tools from trimet.org, such as TransitTracker arrival times, Trip Planner, Service Alerts, route and system maps and more.

It’s easy: Point your mobile browser to m.trimet.org and bookmark it for quick and easy access.

Dave Whipple

I'm TriMet’s manager of marketing and rider communications. I oversee the agency's web and mobile initiatives and help build useful and usable online tools for riders. I also moonlight as a musician in my spare time.

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