Questions about transit data

From: Nicholas B.
Sent on: Wednesday, October 7, 2009 1:07 PM
Hey all,

In preparation for writing up some more advocacy and guidance documents
on open transit data, I thought I'd throw out a few questions to the
group to get people's feelings about what's most important. 

Feel free to weigh in on any/all of the following:

First, we've mostly talked about schedule and fare data so far, but
are there other categories of data that folks are really interested in?
(Obviously real-time location data would be awesome, but that just
doesn't exist yet for most of the system so it's not really much of an
option; it'd be nice though to have access to the limited amount of
real-time info that *does* currently exist.)

Second, in terms of formats, it's my understanding that the MTA
internally uses a format called SDP in part because it handles fare
structures that GTFS doesn't. My thinking is that it'd be best to have
both GTFS and SDP available. What do you all think?

Lastly, I've learned that for some of the MTA agencies (e.g., NYCT),
fixed schedules aren't necessarily the best option since they run more
in terms of frequency. Do people care more about having (relatively)
accurate schedules or very accurate headways (e.g., 4-trains at time X
have 3 minute headways)?

-Nick

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