New features & goodies on metro.net

Hello Source readers, its been a while since I’ve updated you on metro.net happenings and new stuff — well, here they are, enjoy!

Interactive Maps & Infographics!

A few new interactive maps and infographics have been added to Metro’s website, the maps use Google Maps API and are usable on desktop, touchpads and mobile devices.

The Go Metro Interactive Map (an update, not new) has been updated with the new Expo and Orange Line, new stations, revised bus connections and more customer amenities such as parking, bike lockers, and bike racks. The map also links each station to Google Maps and YELP for destinations and recommendations near each station.

Go Metro Interactive Map

Go Metro Interactive Map

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Slow posting today

Hi folks. I’m off the grid for the rest of the day although we’ll have a couple of posts later. Keep cool, thanks for reading and riding and we’ll catch up on Monday.

 


New Go Metro app now available in iTunes store for iPhone

The Go Metro app finally landed in the iTunes store and is now available for free download for iPhones. The app is also available for iPads.

The app has also been available for Android smartphones in the Android Play store since late last month.

Here’s our post from last month explaining the many new features on Go Metro, Version 2. And here’s the news release posted on metro.net.

Please download the app and let us know what you think.

Go Metro Android update with Expo Line added, and iPhone app update

Go Metro app in Google Play

Go Metro app in Google Play

[UPDATE] The Android app update is available for download NOW (!) from Google Play.

As many of you know, the new Go Metro smartphone app recently debuted in the Android store — here’s a Source post about the app’s many fine features. Since then, we’ve received some great feedback and have already submitted an update for the Android app. The update will include:

  • Adding the new Expo Rail Line to the transit data
  • Allowing the app to install on the SD Card, rather than the mobile device (just the app, not the database. We’ll work on allowing the database on SD card for June — in time for the Orange Line opening).
  • Performing an internal storage check before installing the app and database (this will save you a crash when you try to launch the app but there isn’t enough space on your device).

iPhone / iPad

As for iOS, we’re working to get the iPhone version of the app to the public as soon as possible. As of today, we’re still working on final technical revisions with the Apple Store’s technical staff. It’s a day-to-day process, but we hope to have this resolved soon.

Thanks for your interest and enthusiasm and we can’t wait to get you the app!

Metro launches new smartphone app — Android available now, iPhone and iPad next week

Go Metro for Android - Nearby and Nextrip screens

Go Metro on Android: Nearby feature and Nextrip data integrated into bus stops

[UPDATE] We’re still working on the final technical revisions with the Apple Store’s Tech / QA group. Its a day-to-day process, but we hope to have this resolved soon. Thanks for your enthusiasm and we can’t wait to get you the app.
— Lan-Chi Lam (Metro Web & Mobile Manager)

The wait is almost over — after extensive beta-testing, Metro’s new app is available in Android Play (formerly Android Market), and will be available in the Apple App Store next week. The new app – built from the ground-up – is called Go Metro Los Angeles, and is available for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.

Metro’s first app was a chance for the agency to dip its toe into smartphone technology. This app, however, is a full-fledged effort to marry technology to transit and to make it easier for people to quick get the information they need to travel around town.

Full feature description and more screen shots can be seen on metro.net, but here are some highlights:

  • The app is free and is available for download NOW(!) in Android Play, and the Apple App Store next week.
  • The new app was built new from the ground up and will run on Android devices running OS 2.1 and up. On the iPhone and iPad, iOS 3.1 and up is required.
  • The new app can quickly access your location via your phone’s GPS and then show you the closest bus and rail stops. Want the phone to show you, for example, transit stops within 100 feet, 300 or 500 feet of your current location? Just select the distance in the app’s preferences.
Go Metro for Android - Nextrip and scheduled arrivals

Go Metro on Android: Nextrip bus arrivals and scheduled rail arrivals

  • Tap a transit stop on your map and the app will show you Nextrip real-time bus arrival information (if you’re on a cellular or wi-fi network) or scheduled rail arrival times. Not on a cellular network or wi-fi? You still will get a list of scheduled arrival times. By the way, we anticipate that Nextrip real-time rail arrival times will be available later this year.
  • Plan a trip from your location. Metro’s Trip Planner is integrated into the new app. Users can also “favorite” an itinerary.
Go Metro for Android - Trip Plan and Alerts

Go Metro on Android: Plan a trip from your location and select an alert

  • Users can download up to 170 different maps of bus and train routes as well as a bike map — and the maps can be used even when you don’t have any kind of internet connection. If your downloaded map has been updated by Metro, the app will send you an alert so that you can re-download the map within the app.
  • The app allows users to set up and receive alerts for Metro bus and rail, as well as road closures. Service Alerts, Planned Advisories, Destination Discounts, Fare information, Customer Center locations and Lost & Found info are integrated in the app. Alerts and notifications may be turned on and off in the app’s preferences — it’s up to you to decide what you want to receive.
  • Users can save a transit line, bus stop/train station, map or itinerary for fast access. It’s easy to remove and edit your favorites list in the settings part of the app.

Metro wants your feedback and comments to make the app better. Please use our online feedback form. You can also use the app to email Metro’s tech team any bugs you find — this can be done in the “More” section of the app. The app automatically collects your app and OS version to help Metro troubleshoot the problem.

iPhone screen shots after the jump.  Continue reading

Technology + Bike = Secure Bike?

Next time, lock up the entire bike

Photo by billaday via Flickr

In a recent NPR – Marketplace story, travel writer Patrick Symmes talks about an experiment he’s conducting with bikes and GPS trackers — you see Symmes has had seven bikes stolen, and he’d had enough! In a lengthy write-up for Outside magazine, the journalist attaches GPS trackers to ‘bait’ bikes planted across San Francisco and Portland (think LoJack). The man waits to catch his thief.

Full disclosure: I am by no means a biker, and I wouldn’t cry if my current bike got stolen (its a hoopty). But the story left me wondering if this isn’t a business opportunity for some brilliant, enthusiastic, bike entrepreneur? Necessity is the mother of invention, so I ask you Los Angeleno bikers:

  • How ‘high-tech’ have you gone to secure your bike?
  • What is the price point of a bike where you would invest in a ‘security’ system?

Though the author’s experiment leaves him with mixed results, he’s remains optimistic, stating – “This is a war of attrition.”

Like the police, we can and must resist, even when it’s futile. I’m still pimping around Portland on Bike Six, my little black IRO, with 11 pounds of chain wrapped around my waist and hex nuts on my wheels. All the partial solutions—a national bike registry, better serial numbering, more secure parking, GPS trackers disguised like bells and reflectors—are getting better. We aren’t going away.

Reminder: Metro offers Bike Lockers for rent in many Metro Rail and Orange Line stations. Check our Bike Metro section for full info on Locker Rentals, Bike Maps, and the Bicycle Roundtable.

Listen to the audio after the jump…

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