Friday, May 04, 2012

LACMTA launches transit navigation system smart phone app

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The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority released a new mobile "Go Metro Los Angeles" smartphone app that will make it easier for the public to navigate L.A. County's extensive and growing bus and rail system utilizing their mobile devices.

The free app will run on Android devices running Android 2.1 and up and on the iPhone and iPad, iOS 3.1 and up. Software updates are planned to include the Expo Line and Orange Line Extension when they open. Full feature description and screen shots of the app can be seen on metro.net

Built from the ground up for its second release, the new app is full of online and offline features that will help riders find nearby transit stops, plan transit trips, view maps and receive transit and freeway service advisory information. Customer feedback from the first iPhone app was used to design and develop this new version of the app.

The app can quickly access a transit rider's location via his or her phone's GPS. The app will then show the closest bus and rail stops within 100, 300 or 500 feet of the user's current location, depending on their preference. Users can then tap a transit stop on their map and the app will show them Nextrip real-time bus arrival information if they are using cellular or Wi-Fi network. Those without cellular network connection or Wi-Fi will receive a list of scheduled arrival times. Metro anticipates that Nextrip real-time rail arrival times will be available later this year.

"This new app puts all of our agency's transit trip information in the palm of your hand, making the experience of taking transit more seamless than ever for our customers," said Matt Raymond, chief communications officer for LACMTA. "The app's functionality raises the standard for transit apps in our industry. I'm confident its ease-of-use will draw more and more people looking for car-free transportation alternatives to the Metro system."

LACMTA's Trip Planner is integrated into the new app, allowing riders to plan a trip from their location. Users can also "favorite" transit itineraries within the app. Users can save a transit line, bus stop/train station, map or itinerary for faster access and can later edit or remove their favorites list in the app settings.

Users can download up to 170 different maps of bus and train routes, bike and connection maps will be added later in an update. Once a map is downloaded, it can be used without an internet connection, a feature particularly useful when riding the underground Red/Purple Line subway. If a downloaded map has been updated, the app will send the user an alert so they can re-download the map within the app.

"Go Metro Los Angeles - v2" was developed by Axiom xCell for LACMTA.

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