First, yes, that is a horrible name for a product. I’m working on it, but it’s not what’s important. What is important is that it is finally optimized for what it was designed for: any device you might be holding at a bus stop.*
*Almost any device.
Project Getting There is a project I started back in summer for a final project at Drexel. The inspiration for it? Waiting on a bus. While it wasn’t a SEPTA bus, which is what it’s designed for, SEPTA and Drexel share the stop I was waiting at, and it’s a fairly busy one where the question, “Do you know when the next bus is?,” is a daily question.
For a while now, SEPTA has had a great SMS schedules system. However, it’s not well advertised, and having the number for it on stop signs would certainly be a good starting point. At the time, I happened to have been playing around with the SEPTA API, so I thought, “I wonder if I could bring this to the web?”
It took thirty minutes. It was ugly, but it worked. However, it was also built with a desktop or laptop in mind, which was not the original idea. How often do you see someone with a laptop open at a bus stop? In Philly specifically?
Very rarely. So, I knew from the start a major change was going to be needed later down the road. Today, that change is here.
Project Getting There now knows what the size of your screen is. It doesn’t care what kind of device you’re on. This isn’t 2007. It’s 2014, when the web should be responsive, not “mobile view.” It works just like the old design, but now with a little more class and a lot less zooming and panning.
I have some ideas for future functionality, but for now, what actually matters is now live. So please, take it for a spin on your next SEPTA ride, and send me a tweet about how it goes.