Some stories you may have missed last week: TransLoc releases free GTFS builder, Lyft teams up with National Federation of the Blind, and The Transit Wire gets fooled.
TransLoc recent released Architect, a free web application for managing and sharing transit data in the General Transit Feed Specification format. “The type of data Architect helps harness is the fundamental currency driving our transportation future,” said Doug Kaufman, CEO of TransLoc, in a statement. “The future of transportation is not in infrastructure, it’s in the data.”
More than 150 transit agencies volunteers as beta testers of Architect in 2016. “Since we began submitting GTFS data in 2008, we’ve always used simple Excel spreadsheets. Over the years, the GTFS specifications evolved to be more complex, making data management slow and time consuming, but a necessity in order to get the right information to riders,” said Maria Smith, marketing officer for Mountain Line Transit Authority (WV). “Within a week [of using Architect], we had all of our 19 bus routes in the system and an accurate feed provided to Google. We now have a Trip Planner that our riders can use and rely on.”
Ride-hailing company Lyft announced a partnership with the National Federation of the Blind to improve the ride experience for blind and low-vision customers. Lyft is working with NFB’s Access Technology staff to make its app more accessible to blind passengers and collaborating with the nonprofit to educate the public and policy makers on the importance of access to transportation. Lyft has also updated its service animal policy and is working with drivers to ensure that they “offer welcoming and comfortable rides to blind and low vision passengers.” Link to Lyft press release.
Finally, an apology. Last week The Transit Wire posted a story about technology to generate subliminal advertisements on Japan’s magnetic levitation trains. The story — which was originally published in The Japan Times and picked up by other transportation publications — turned out to be an April Fool’s Day prank. I took down The Transit Wire’s story to avoid any confusion, but here’s the link to the original story in The Japan Times if you’re curious.
Image source: Lyft