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Free the MUNI Data

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Jun. 25th, 2009 | 01:57 pm

Routesy LogoMy favorite iPhone application has been Routesy (see http://www.routesy.com/ ).  The app figured out where I was, and would tell me arrival times for the MUNI routes I choose. 

The information was presented in an incredibly useful and clear way.  The Routesy app was even featured in the iTunes store as a staff favorite.

Suddenly, Routesy stopped working.
Apparently NextBus Information Systems claims that they are entitled to a prohibitively expensive fee of $1 per download for the MUNI data supplied it by our public transportation system. The app developer, Steven Peterson, says he is continuing to try to get access to the MUNI data feed, but for the moment, MUNI data is not being shared.

What gives??!   Isn't MUNI data public?  If not,… wow!  It should be!

I've emailed Supervisor Bevan Dufty who is also on the MTA.  I've also called MUNI at 415.701.4500 -- I got voicemail and left them a message.

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Comments {3}

Big John in San Francisco

(no subject)

from: bigjohnsf
date: Jun. 26th, 2009 01:21 am (UTC)

Nextbus doesn't own the data, they license it, in consideration for equipment they install on buses so The City doesn't have to pay for them.

There are many ways of defining the public interest -- you and I often disagree on what that is.

You and I both know that Nextbus is assigning a preemptive license fee, so that they can say that they are offering to share the data, when they really don't want to.

One thing I don't get... can't you get nextmuni.com on your iPhone? I thought they did everything.

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