BART Rider updated! Pin stations or favorites to your start screen!

Next major release of BART Rider is out and includes several neat changes to make getting around the Bay Area even easier!

This new version takes advantage of several Mango updates that improve application performance – you’ll see that the station list now looks a little different but should scroll much quicker than before (maybe a little too quick – the updated control won’t render the contents if you scroll too quickly…I’ll have to find a fix for that sometime)

The list looks nicer and provides additional station information.  Also updated is the station detail page.  You’ll notice that the page includes a handy pin icon – clicking that icon will place a tile on your start screen so you can quickly get to the station Live Arrival info!

Also updated is the Trip Favorite feature.  You can now also pin Trip Favorites to your start screen as well!

And finally, BART Rider is now completely FREE to use (ad supported) and not limited in any way!  Purchasing the app will get rid of those pesky ads!

View BART Rider info or download it from the Windows Phone Marketplace

 

 

Introducing BART Rider – The First WP7 BART app with Live station info!

BART Rider is my second Windows Phone 7 application, and I think you’ll agree that it looks and performs great!  For those of you who may not be familiar with BART, it represents the “Bay Area Rapid Transit” system and it is how a lot of people commute in and out of the Bay Area.

BART has a great API that is open for developers to play around with and develop applications.  It’s fast, real easy to use and a perfect example of how real, useful services can be consumed on a portable device.  So all you developers out there, visit http://api.bart.gov and start developing now!

BART Rider was developed over a period of about two weeks and includes most of the desired features from the BART api.  But enough text let’s get on to some screenshots!

From the main screen you can access the primary functions of this app (Saved Trips, Create a Trip, Live station info and Advisories) – the app will hide the advisories tile if there are none available.

Swiping over to the Stations screen (or selecting the “Live station info” tile) will bring you here.  The Stations page is where you would go to get station address information as well as Live train arrival information.  The next screenshot shows what appears when you select a station:

If you hit “Get Directions”, the app will fire up a search for the address which will allow you to get more information about the station itself, view it on a map and get directions.  The section under “Arrivals (Live)” shows you upto the minute forecast train arrival information for the station.  One thing that’s always bugged me about other BART apps is that they always display the number of minutes until a train is supposed to arrive by…and it’s typically in this kind of format:  “Dublin 5,15,30”.  What the heck does that mean?  Well BART Rider does the conversion for you and lets you know the TIME the train should arrive.  Seems a little better don’t you think? 

But Live station information is only useful if you’re very familiar with the BART system itself – if you’re a little unfamiliar or would really like to see what time you can arrive at your destination by, you’ll use the Trip Planner (click on “Create trip” from the main menu).

The Trip Planner allows you to select where you want to go from/to and when you want to depart or arrive by!  This has got to be one of the best things that the BART api has to offer and I must say that the developers at BART did a good job of exposing the information and includes a couple additional features not exposed here (but for the sake of simplicity, have been hidden).  From this screen, you can also Save the trip information so you can quickly get upto date route information anytime you need it.  Simply hit the star icon at the bottom, provide a name and you’re done!  Here’s what the saved trips page looks like:

Going back to the Trip Planner, when you hit “Plan Trip” you’ll be sent off to the following page:

Trip Results will show three trip options for the Trip you just specified.  It will attempt to find a route before, at and after the time you scheduled.  That way, if you’re running a little early or a little late, you can find your way around BART very easily.  Also note that the app will help you figure out WHERE you need to get off and what train to take next.  For more detailed information about the trip, just tap it and you’ll be sent to the details view:

This page provides the same information as the results screen but in a larger format.  This view also shows you additional train information (whether you can take your bike on it or not).

And here’s a video of the app in action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDUMwl1Zenk

So there you have it!  The first BART app for Windows Phone 7 that provides Live station info, trip planning, saved trips and advisories all in one tool!  Find it on the Zune Marketplace here:

http://social.zune.net/redirect?type=phoneApp&id=547fb7e3-84f0-df11-9264-00237de2db9e