NOLA Transit is here
I’m pleased to announce the first release of NOLA Transit, New Orleans’ first public transportation app for iPhone.
When I first started taking the bus to work on a daily basis, I carried a paper schedule in my back pocket. Forever forgetting what time I needed to get going, I circled the times on the schedule that were important to me. This worked pretty well, except that I constantly had paper stuffed in my pockets. In my other pocket I had a phone, which had access to all of the worlds information except, inexplicably, when the next bus would arrive. It seemed like something better had to be out there.
In March, the New Orleans RTA released their schedule data as part of an open-data initiative. As a rider and a software developer, I thought this was great chance to build something that could make the lives of people in my community a little easier. I wanted to have an easy-to-use, attractive app for my phone that gave me access to all the information I might need to go anywhere in the city, and I knew other bus riders wanted it too.
So I got to work, and NOLA Transit is the result.
The first release of NOLA Transit is focused on providing clear step-by-step directions for riding public transportation in the city. Once you tell it where you want to go, NOLA Transit will tell you what bus or streetcar you need to take, when you need to get to your stop, and when you should arrive. Included with your instructions are maps that follow along with you as you make your journey. With iOS6 (available in late September), NOLA Transit will integrate directly with the Maps application in your iPhone, making it even easier to get to your favorite places in the city using public transportation.
The app also has a bunch of features that frequent riders are going to love. Most importantly, the app comes pre-loaded with complete schedule and route information for the New Orleans RTA. That gives you access to the schedule of any stop at any time, even if you have no cell phone coverage. Using your phone’s integrated GPS, you can easily get information for the stops closest to you, or mark stops as “favorites” to have easy access to them any time.
NOLA Transit is available from the iPhone app store, starting today. If you ride around the Big Easy on the bus or streetcar, check it out. I think you’ll like it.