Monthly Archives: February 2012

Muni App Goals


  • Plenty of apps that tells you when the next bus is arriving for a certain route and stop, and sometimes tells you how long it takes to get to your destination
  • Doesn’t include trips that requires transfers
  • Hard to tell where the bus is exactly and if there will be a delay
  • Existing apps tells you what “should” happen (how many minutes will the bus arrive, etc.)

Potential Implementations

  • Include a function that lets you create “trips” which include multi-vehicle transfers
    • You can create your trips by entering addresses (and from your Contacts), tapping on a map (a la Maps App), or by bus lines
    • Include recommendations for a route based on traffic conditions at the time.
  • Include information that tells you whether the bus is probably late
  • Include information that tells you if this bus route is usually late on this day of the week at this time
  • Include traffic accident information, include street closures for special events
  • Include links to any info that has not been integrated to the app yet
  • Include a crowd-sourcing feature that gathers real-time comments from riders commenting on any line (e.g. tweets complaining that a bus is late or explaining why it’s late)
  • Include a map of all the buses running or the lines you selected.
  • Include suggestions for places to go via public transportation

Goal of the App:

To improve upon existing apps by providing a more pain-free and a more fun user experience for getting the user from point A to point B.

These two features aim to achieve that goal:

  1. Provide an easy way to find the best route to get to a destination based on real time conditions, using as many vehicles as it takes.
  2. Provide information that suggests the punctuality of each bus/vehicle

Nice to haves (V2+):

  1. Crowdsourcing real time comments via tweets, other social media, or within the app’s data network
  2. Suggests places/landmark to go via public transportation


Ira Glass on Creativity for Beginners

Got this quote from somebody who got it from somebody who got it from somebody who heard it on This American Life with Ira Glass. It’s sort of motivational for creative people.

“What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.

“But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story.

“It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

There’s also a video.