Sydney Public Transport – CitiRail vs iPhone Devs!
In this gripe, I will be focusing on CitiRail specifically… (and to be honest not just focusing on the iPhone). Some of my fellow Australians and more specifically, Sydneysiders, may have been following the recent articles on the Sydney Morning Herald regarding CitiRail threatening to sue iPhone application developers over using the CitiRail timetable information in their application.
I have to say that I see this as extremely obscure, CitiRail is saying that they do not want their staff to be copping flack from customers because the timetable information does not account for delayed rail services and so forth. My workmate today however posed an interesting question, do they update the distributed paper timetables to include day to day delays? Not that we know of!
OK granted the nature of having an iPhone app, or an app for any other smart device, would lead you to believe that the information would be current but a short disclaimer would get around this and easily cover CitiRail’s arse.
Personally I can still not believe that the information from Sydney’s rail, bus and ferry services has not been provided to developers via some API (Application Programmers Interface) so that they can get instantly updated information. Then the transit systems would not have to even concern themselves with developing their own applications. This would also permit the very easy integration of transport information from any device such as a WAP enabled phone, to a blackberry and PDAs, so in other words, not just the iPhone.
I am curious to hear other Australian’s thoughts on this though? I mean we all know how wonderful the Sydney public transport system is with the failed TCard Smartcard ticketing system as just another recent example.
So if you are a Sydneysider what do you think? If you are from another state or overseas, how do you think this reflects on Sydney in comparison to your own state?
Also while we are here, how do you think Sydney’s public transport reflects on Sydney as a whole?