February 19, 2018
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API Version 2.2 Released

Love your MTD app? There’s a chance your app’s developer may soon introduce new features thanks to today’s release of version 2.2 of MTD’s API (Application Programming Interface).

New Methods

The previous version of MTD’s API offered 20 methods.  A method is a portal by which developers access a part of MTD’s data. The developers then code how the data is displayed and accessed in their app. Version 2.2 adds six new methods!

A new technology recently acquired by MTD is called Vehicle Monitoring (VM). While Stop Monitoring, which powers our Bus Stop Lookup, enables real-time vehicle tracking for a single stop, VM enables system-wide vehicle tracking. Users can now track all in-service buses live! They can also filter in-service buses by bus number and route.

The three new methods for accessing VM are GetVehicleGetVehiclesByRoute, and GetVehicles.

Using the VM technology, MTD created a special portal for METCAD, which answers emergency 9-1-1 calls for all of Champaign County, to view and track all of our buses. The ability to locate MTD vehicles expedite medical, police, and fire responses.

"CUMTD" "MTD" "METCAD" "vehicle monitoring"

This is the portal created for METCAD. This filter displays all vehicles in-service with MTD routes.

It was particularly useful last weekend for the Illinois Marathon as dispatchers for MTD and the marathon monitored vehicles. “It really came in handy when buses couldn’t get across certain intersections and we needed to decide what to do next,” Tracey Pettigrew, MTD’s Safety & Operations Assistant said. Pettigrew was in the Marathon’s Control Center in the METCAD building on Main Street in Urbana.

Where is it on MTD’s website? Stay tuned! MTD is currently working on placement and branding of this new technology. We’ll post an update soon!

"CUMTD" "MTD" "METCAD" "vehicle monitoring"

A bus can be tracked by number or route. Direction of travel is specified along with a time stamp.

A data point long incorporated in our system, but not available in our API, was reroutes. For years, users have had the option to sign up to receive notifications by text/email for reroutes affecting selected routes through MyRIDE.

Now, developers can alert passengers in their apps! The methods for accessing reroutes are GetReroutes and GetReroutesByRoute. The first method displays all currently active reroutes and the second enables reroute filtering by route.

Where is it on MTD’s website? Reroutes are displayed on the homepage in the center red ribbon. Users viewing a route schedule or map will see a red ribbon at the top of the page if a reroute is currently in effect.

More Departure Data

At the end of March, MTD added iStops to the Bus Stop Lookup page and STOPwatch+ kiosks. Thanks to passenger S.M. for the recommendation! Version 2.2 makes iStop data available in the API.

Where is it on MTD’s website? When users view a bus stop, routes serving the stop that are iStop boarding locations show the small orange hexagonal “i” next to them.

App Analytics

The final new method is called GetApiUsage for developers to track what users are doing with their apps (methods used) and how often (number of calls made). This metadata is only available to the API key holder. The information displayed is powered by Google Analytics.

Work was also done on the back end to streamline processes and improve speed and efficiency. What do you think of the new methods? Share app feature ideas from a developer and/or rider standpoint in the comments!

About Amy Snyder

Amy Snyder is the Customer Service Manager at the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District. She writes and manages content for this blog, The Inside Lane, as well as the social media pages for CUMTD.
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Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District
1101 East University Avenue
Urbana, IL 61802-2009
(217) 384-8188
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