Subway Time for Android

New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority this week released its "Subway Time" app for iOS, which gives real-time updates for trains in and and around New York City. Need to know how soon a certain train will be at a certain station? That's the app to have. 

Only, we use Android around these here parts. And MTA's not making an app for us. But what it is doing is making the data freely available to anyone -- and we've already seen our first "unofficial" app released in beta. Subway Time for Android, released by The Holodeck, taps into that MTA data and brings a fairly functional app to Android. There are bugs. There are layout issues. But those can be fixed. That we're seeing the app ported over in just a matter of days is proof positive that we're on the right side here, folks. So break out those MTA cards and let's give this guy a go.

More: MTA Developer Resources; Thanks for the tip, @EladKatz!


Reader comments

New York's MTA subway data hits Android in beta form


It's disappointing to see as much progress as Android has made in the past 12mo's seeing app development still in iOS's favor over Android, very, very disappointing.

Just for the record when the MTA went to the Local media with this, it was reported that they are indeed working on apps for Android and Windows phones

From the WSJ story we linked to above:

The agency had planned versions for Android and Windows users but said Friday that apps on those platforms will be built instead by third-party developers.

And what reason can apps for all 3 OSes not be made simultaneously???
There are far, far more Android smartphones out there, especially now that Samsung is gaining so much dominance with the S2, S3, and Note 2.

I'm so sick of iOS being shown favor over Android!!!

If there isn't an android app coming out then that's pure laziness. These old people running the show have to learn that the iphone isn't the only smartphone in the universe.


Maybe the programmers they have in-house only know Apple. They said the android versions are being developed by contractors. It takes a while to learn a new programming environment and language.

It probably takes much less time to issue a contract than to get another employee hired thru the city government bureaucratic. And then you are stuck with them for life.

Of course, money would solve all of those problems. Would you be ok with a increase in fares to cover the costs of development of a fairly useless app? I'm guessing not.

Don't integrate this into Google maps. Why should I, living in Utah have more crap installed into programs. If people, including muggers, who use the system, need an app, hopefully it will be available.

Go get an iphone and use their crappy map data if you don't like it.

Btw if you hit the public transportation button in google maps while your getting directions in NYC...guess what?!?!?! It brings up the subway info with the times! So the data is already there...LOL

Go uninstall google maps its not like there is anywhere to go in Utah anyway.

OMG an extra 10 megabytes on my phone THE HORROR!

Pretty sure if you're not in the area, it doesn't search for the data. Also, the files needed for this and other "crap" probably don't add much to the size of the app itself. An app for each specific Metro area on the other hand, is a couple MORE MB when you factor in it's own UI and code. Maps for me is only 15 MB, rounded up. Unless you're on a low end device, 15 MB is nothing.

Additionally, what if you live in Utah, but decide one day to go to NYC? You'd have to go through the Play Store to find *yet another* transit/nav app. Wouldn't it be easier to have everything under one app instead of having to manage multiple apps that all relate to ground transit?

Here's a novel idea: don't like it? DON'T USE IT.

Here's a novel idea: Don't worry about NEW YORK CITY or the MTA application it doesn't apply to you nor do you live out here. Stay at your little down don't visit out here my friend. You wouldn't understand what a subway map or train actually is.

You moron. I live 20 minutes from the nation's capitol, which has an extensive metro system. Not that you'd know since *gasp* you're not me and have no clue what I know or don't know. So here's a novel idea just for you little Dicky, stick to the stuff you know, which is not me, and certainly is not "the Android world" Mr. Rooting-is-for-2plus-year-old-devices. What a joke.
I wouldn't know what a train is? You talking about those things that have been around since the early 1800's? Who *doesn't* know what those are? Idiot.

Yes, why don't they just have a different app for every city? That would make much more sense, right?

(no, I'm not being serious).

Google Maps data is all online unless you specifically save it to your phone. Therefore, unless you're actually looking at NYC on google maps, this won't affect you. It won't increase the size of the app (and maps data includes public transit times in cities that have it, anyway).

Also, "muggers who use the system?" What?

I sure didn't expect the Android community to jump on this so quickly. I've been using Subway Status for awhile. I will try it out, although it's only working for a handful of trains. The MTA says that it will be about 3 years to update all the other stations to use this app. Maybe other developers will do the MTA's job quicker.

Uh, that's why I use Google Maps with its Transit Layer. Google taps into the same data from MTA and makes all of the bus and subway schedules available. Better yet, with Google Now, I get the schedules sent to me automatically as I walk pass each station whether it be a bus or train. So, MTA can keep their elementary iOS app development all they want.

(And let's not forget it takes a true app developer to create Android apps since there are a LOT more APIs for Android than there are for iOS; that makes it child's play to develop for iOS).

Here's the thing, though. The train schedules you get with the transit layer don't reflect what the trains are actually doing. This data that the MTA is making available essentially displays what's on the departure boards for each train station that has them, that is, how many minutes away a train is from that station. Everyone knows that the NYC subway schedules have little to no meaning.

Sweet! Now I know when and where the best spots are to push oblivious iPhone geeks onto the tracks! This has been a long time coming!!!

I've been using google maps for my MTA information for awhile. Its simply the best app for the job.

I've tried all different applications and I always go back to GMAPS. I just download a subway city map to my phone to check out if i need to know rts.

I'll give this a go tonight and see how accurate it is.

This should be integrated into Google Now. I'd love a card that pops up when I'm near a subway station telling me how far away each train is (and this is different from a train schedule, which really has no meaning in the MTA subway anyway).

I've never been concerned with the train being early or late... if the train is late, what option do I have? I take metro and if the train is early or late, means not much to me.. since I'm already on the platform.