WirelessDevNet.com Press Release
The MTA has released an Android version of its free "Weekender" app. MTA customers who use Android devices can now get detailed information about the subway service changes planned for the upcoming weekend.
"We want as many people as possible, regardless of what type of device they use, to have information about planned service changes while on the go," said Paul Fleuranges, the MTA's Senior Director of Corporate and Internal Communications. "This app makes it easier to use the subway on the weekend because it takes away the frustration that comes with not knowing about service changes before you get to the station."
The app includes a subway diagram that displays the service to be provided each weekend, and all service changes. Users can expand the map to multiple zoom levels using " " and "-" signs, and can tap to view service diversions by line, station, or borough.
The app also includes the popular Neighborhood Maps that are posted inside subway stations. The maps show the outline of subway stations and their entrances within the local street network along with the locations of popular area destinations.
Key features of the Weekender App include:
Service by Line: Click on a subway line symbol to get a line diagram showing an overview of the line's service changes, as well as text summaries of the changes.
Service by Borough: Click on a borough for text-based information about any service changes impacting a borough.
Service by Station: Select a station for details on any service changes impacting that station, or click on the map to zoom to a detailed area.
Due to the large amount of data and mapping involved in the mobile version of The Weekender – 100 Megabytes – MTA developers have smartly "packeted" the data, so the initial download includes the basic functions needed to get started. Then, each time the user plans a trip or taps to view a particular neighborhood map, only those images are added to the app, so the app gets smarter with every use without hogging device memory.
The Weekender for Mobile was created by MTA developers following initial design concepts from Vignelli Associates. The diagram used as the base of The Weekender both online and in the mobile app is designed to illustrate service diversions at a glance. It is inspired by the 1972 New York City subway map designed by world renowned map maker and designer Massimo Vignelli, and was recently updated by Vignelli, Beatriz Cifuentes and Yoshiki Waterhouse.
Twenty-seven Android apps have been developed by private app developers using open, machine-readable data that the MTA has released to the public, but this is only the second native Android app to be developed by the MTA itself. (The first was the EZ Travel App for MTA bridge and tunnel users.)
The MTA launched the desktop web version of The Weekender in September 2011. The agency launched an iOS version of the Weekender app in June 2012 and has since released numerous updates to it. The MTA welcomes user feedback through the app store's ratings and "Email the Developer" link and will consider all feedback for forthcoming updates to the app.
The MTA has previously developed a number of innovative web-based digital tools that increase customers' access to real-time service-related information: MTA Bus Time, Metro-North Train Time, LIRR Train Time, an MTA Bridges and Tunnels Travel Time, and Trip Planner.