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Real-time bus schedules takes the uncertainty out of riding the bus. Sometimes a bus arrives early and you have to choose whether to chase after it or wait for the next one. Other times the bus arrives late and you have to wait at the bus stop, looking down the road wondering when the bus will appear. If the weather is bad or you’re alone at the bus stop in the dark, you need to know exactly when your bus is coming – at the very least for peace of mind.
The Washington real-time transit map app brings real-time bus schedules (provided by OneBusAway) to Bing Maps for the Puget Sound / Seattle area. The map app was developed by Luan Nguyen, who wrote an article for MSDN in October on how to add real-time transit data to a map app. His article goes into how to access the OneBusAway API, defining the map entity, writing the main plug-in, and displaying the content. He also goes in-depth into the code, which is now freely available.
When you first open the map app, you’re shown the transit agencies with available data. I recommend using the Bing search bar or map control to zoom in to your location rather as the “go to this area” links keep you at a fairly high level.
Once you’re zoomed in to where you need to pick up your bus, click on “arrival times” either on the left rail or after clicking on the appropriate pushpin. Please note that not only can you see real-time schedules, you also can get directions to the bus stop, save the stop to quickly bring it up in the future, and dive into StreetSide to make sure you know where the bus stop is – all of which are benefits Bing offers over other sources of real time transit information. When you click on “arrival times”, you’ll see the real time schedule for that bus stop.
Thank you to Luan for building this map app and sharing the code and process. Once again, if you’re interested in building a map app with real-time transit data this is a great resource for anyone looking at developing a map app that interacts with other web services, check out Luan's MSDN article and how to bring OneBusAway to your city.
Also, don’t forget we also have real-time transit built into our newly released Bing Mobile update for Seattle, Boston, and San Francisco metro areas.
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Brian Hendricks Bing Maps Product Manager
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