Josh’s keynote will tell the story of MassDOT’s award-winning Developers Initiative. Traditionally, transit agencies get real-time bus arrival information to bus riders by building their own countdown signs, launching their own websites, and building their own smartphone applications. MassDOT and the MBTA took a different approach and decided to open data for software developers first through a five bus line pilot. In just two months, more than a dozen applications had been built by developers including smartphone apps, SMS services, a phone system, and event an LED sign. As a result of this success, MassDOT and the MBTA have decided to take this approach and apply it to the rest of its 180+ bus routes. The MassDOT Developers story provides a strong example of what is possible when public agencies change their approach and harness the power of open data.
Joshua Robin is the Director of Innovation and Special Projects at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. In this role, he leads the MassDOT’s award-winning Developers Initiative and other initiatives focused on getting drivers and riders more information through 3rd parties. Through the Developers initiative, MassDOT has opened data on public transportation routes, schedules, and real-time information on some routes. Thanks to the work of MassDOT’s Developer community more than a dozen applications have been built in just a few months showcasing the power of opening data. You can follow the Developers Initiative on Twitter @massdotdev.
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