Archive for February, 2010

Civic Software Links of the Week

  1. Nominations Open for Social Innovation Fellows @poptech
  2. Green Homes Flunk Walk Score Test – USA Today and NRDC commentary
  3. Free chapters from @oreillymedia‘s “Open Government” book here!
  4. Open Source Digital Voting Foundation – transparent + publicly owned voting system code

Walk Score: Year in Review

Fun Facts from a remarkable year:

  • 10 million visitors spent 46 million minutes on Walk Score in the last year.
  • Daily traffic is up 291% since last January.
  • 1.3 million visits last month.
  • 46% of visitors are in the process of deciding where to live.
  • 11,000 petition signatures to increase America’s Walk Score.
  • 1,6oo signed petitions asking local transit agencies to open their GTFS data feed to sites like Walk Score.
  • 3,400 real estate web sites now use Walk Score Real Estate services, up 484% in 1 year.

2009 Product highlights:

  • Launched the Walk Score API – now serving 3 million scores/day to our real estate partners
  • Shipped our first Walk Score iPhone app with the help of some great volunteers.
  • Added public transit locations on Walk Score – our #1 customer request
  • Upgraded the Walk Score Tile (Walk Score in a widget) to include Google Street View and transit maps
  • Received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation for transit and other improvements
  • Compare Your Score – lets you see how you’re doing compared to others in your town
  • Walk Score Home Value Study – Joe Cortwright, economist for CEOs for Cities quantifies the financial value of a high Walk Score

Thanks to all of our supporters for your help. We look forward to a more walkable 2010.

New Accountability for Public Transit

This week I’ve looked at Twitter searches on “transit” revealing a rich cross-section of tweets ranging from rider rants, to stories of riders pushing back against agencies, to cases of agencies opening up to their ridership. I think riders holding transit agencies accountable for their service delivery promises could be the start of a transformational culture shift within the transit community. Here are some examples:


@RatedRHackstar wrote: Nj transit has to have to worse buses, timewise eva, them sits neva stick to schedule they come when they want

@merlynn wrote: the bus in front of me averaged a whopping 40 mph on the freeway. Way to go, Sound Transit.

@BlackMaria wrote: They’re checking fare on transit. Like half the people on the bus got fined and kicked off. Mean!!

@BookGeekGal wrote: Indianapolis: Why does your public transit website SUCK & repeatedly crash my internet? I’m trying to study feasibility of Indy trip. #sigh

@mermaidmask wrote: I f***ing hate public transit!

Tech Driving Accountability

@MicheleNW wrote: Lol bus went past me then stopped. I got on and he says “I know you would’ve emailed NJ transit…” I said “before you hit the corner!”

@coffee_makers wrote: TTC driver suspended following YouTube video of coffee break: A Toronto transit driver has been suspended pending …

Agencies Opening Up for Feedback

@gctransit wrote: Welcome to the Gwinnett County Transit Facebook page. In our efforts to provide better service to our customers we…

@HillsboroughMPO wrote: How could improved mass transit in Tampa Bay affect you? Video contest going on now

Open Data Gets Moving

Transit agencies are on the move — opening up their GTFS transit feeds at a record pace. Through January, 107 transit agencies now provide open data — up 41% since the December launch of City-Go-Round, a nifty little site that promotes the virtues of open transit data and highlights the cool apps that civic-minded software developers have built using those data feeds.

While we love up-and-right pointing graphs, more than 650 other transit agencies are lacking open data, and we hope to see that change in 2010.

City-Go-Round contains a list, (lovingly called The Wall of Shame here at the office), of the 10 largest transit agencies without open data.

Amazingly, just since our launch, 4 of the original Top 10 agencies have gone Open Data, and of the 4 new ones that took their place, half of those opened up too. This leaves us with a new top 10 as we head into February: