COTPA goes mobile
Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority (COTPA) has unveiled an iPhone and Android application. I just downloaded the Android app to my DROID and gave it a once over. It currently only has the number 13 and the number 5 routes showing. Not sure if it is a bug or they don't have the rest of the data available yet. I can't check the iPhone app but I assume it is drawing off the same datasets.
It does have location awareness so it can show you nearby stops. This will be helpful when you are in areas in which you are not familiar with. You can then see how long until the bus will be at the stop. You can manually refresh this or set it to auto refresh in the settings.
I was recently in Denver and tried out both their 'official' transit app and a third-party option. I have to say, it was way easier to use Google Maps. They had Denver's transit data and for the several times I took a bus or streetcar, Google was much faster at getting me what I needed. I am glad to see this app in development, but I encourage transportation authorities to consider the already existing platforms as well. The nice thing about feeding Google our data is we don't have to rely on folks downloading our local apps in order to be able to figure out our bus routes. Anyone with a smartphone can use what they already have access to -- the internet. Another strength to the Google Maps platform is that I can get transit directions. That is just my .02 on the subject of custom apps.
In all, I appreciate the step forward. Until more routes are added, the app won't be incredibly useful for most people, but it is a start and for that -- thank you COTPA!