My MTA Bus is three times better and faster than any smartphone app because it runs on a smart watch:
- You can glance at your watch a lot faster than pulling out your phone and digging through its menus.
- This app makes a single API query to obtain the arrival times of all buses at a given stop.
- You've pre-defined your stops, so there is no delay to determine your GPS or to draw a map.
I've been writing apps for the Pebble watch as a hobby from the first day Pebble announced their SDK. I wanted an easy to use public transit app for the bus system I use and discovered the Next Bus API. That API worked for a few routes in Brooklyn and the Bronx. I wanted to build a second generation of my app that would eventually allow me to interface to a variety of APIs including the open data API from the MTA. By Thanksgiving of 2014, I completed the new architecture and a few weeks later, after discovering there was this Challenge Post, I wrote, finished and published My MTA Bus.
The app is very accessible, because with a couple of button pushes in a matter of seconds, you can find out when the next few buses are arriving, without needing to pull out your phone.
Already several hundred users have downloaded and are enjoying the benefits of this app. I've had no bug reports since the launch. I've already made great headway on the Apple Watch version of this app. The proceeds from winning this challenge will go towards expenses necessary to complete this new project in a timely manner.
The app is available on the Pebble Watch App Store on Android or iOS, and appears as follows: https://apps.getpebble.com/applications/5478db026e0cd3da690000de