Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority Adds Data Sets to Google

Boston's transit system will also allow third-party developers to create applications using the data.

by / August 18, 2009 0

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation (EOT) announced Monday that scheduling and geographic data for the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) has been integrated into Google Transit, an application that allows users to plan their travel via public transportation.

The MBTA is one of the largest transit agencies in the U.S. to make its data publicly available. Google Transit currently includes the public transit systems of more than 400 cities and counties. The MBTA has also made its transit data available to third-party developers, allowing anyone to develop Web or mobile applications that serve the public. According to an agency news release, this is part of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick's initiative to transform the MBTA into a "modern, efficient, and customer-friendly transportation system."

The EOT developers page, at, will host the MBTA data and convert it to Google Transit Feed Specification, the standard format set by Google to ensure transit data can integrate with the company's mapping application. Developers can access any of nine data sets at the EOT site.

"Our priority is to consistently improve customer service for the riders," James Aloisi, secretary of the Executive Office of Transportation and Public Works, said in an agency release. "With the help of thoughtful technical developers, making this data public will spawn many possible applications to help transit users use their cell phones or laptops to find and use the right bus or train in the right place at the right time for them."

Chad Vander Veen

Chad Vander Veen previously served as the editor of FutureStructure, and the associate editor of Government Technology and Public CIO magazines.