Tired of dealing with train delays? Where’s My Train is a responsive web application that displays the pseudo-realtime status of the subway lines in NYC. The status messages for each line can be clicked for additional information. Originally built as a Python app for Raspberry Pi in 2016, Where’s My Train was rebuilt for the web in 2018.
See the current version live here.
CATEGORIES: Web design, web development, UX, UI
DATE: September 2016: v1 (Python), January 2018: v2 (Web)
The Problem: If you rely on public transportation 7 days a week, you know how frustrating it is to miss a train due to delays or service changes. All too often, Google Maps doesn’t have up to date data on services changes, and the MTA website can be less than illuminating. It would be nice to have a quick way to check what’s going on with a train line.
My First Solution: In 2016, I wrote a Python program that scraped, cleaned, and stored the MTA XML data at regular intervals. That data flowed into a GUI that allowed the user to see the status of each line. Users could click on the status message of each line to get more information. For 2 years, that program ran on a Raspberry Pi + touchscreen mounted next to my front door. A full write up of that build can be found here.
Early design sketches and version 1.0 running on a Pi 2B
My Current Solution: Since developing v1, I found myself wanting to be able to access the application from a variety of devices on the go. So, I rebuilt Where’s My Train from the ground up in 2018 using modern web frameworks. I recreated the train line icons in Illustrator and took a mobile-first approach to design development. The result is an application that looks great and runs well on all devices.
Version 2.0: rebuilt for the web with JS, JQuery, Bootstrap, & SVGs