DRA shuts down R-Line mobile tracking website, Android App Going Strong

DRA shuts down R-Line mobile tracking website, Android App Going Strong

February, 22, 2010, by Jedidiah

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UPDATE: The Downtown Raleigh Alliance has released their own bus tracking application for mobile phones. See more information here.

Remember that mobile R-Line tracking website that we were touting last week? Yep, it has already been pulled by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance. As you can see in the image above and in the text below, DRA has asked Open Intelligence to pull the mobile tracker. Current reason for pulling the website is that the “GPS feed from the R-Line buses is public data, the DRA does not agree” says F.O. Finch, creator of the mobile tracking site. Bummer! Especially considering the DRA had no intentions of making their own mobile version of the tracker (although the email below from Finch states that the DRA may be releasing their own version soon).

We are trying to get an answer from the DRA, but in the meantime, Android users still have the option to track the R-line on an Application that is available in the Android Marketplace. Luckily, this one has yet to be pulled as it gets its information from RaleighRides.org and not the DRA’s website, but it could only be time. Check out the creation of the Android App here. iPhone and other mobile phone users are currently out of luck.

New Raleigh received the following email from F.O. Finch:

To all,
The Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA) has asked Open Intelligence to turn off our mobile R-Line tracker.
We look forward to the release of a mobile supported map from the DRA.
For more information, contact the DRA here.
F.O. Finch
Founder, Open Intelligence

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  • Andrew | @haikuhijinks
    02/22 05:06 PM

    The Web site *was* done well, and a nice asset to have, but I believe more people would access this data from cellphones than computers. So keep pushing (and tweaking) those mobile apps.

    Also, I hope any feud between Web/app developers and the DRA is resolved quickly. Transit tracking is one more service that makes life a little better for all people in downtown Raleigh—residents, employees and visitors.

  • DRA
    02/22 05:51 PM

    We were pleased to offer the AVL Map and the projected real-time arrivals for the R-LINE circulator service.  Through a special agreement with the City of Raleigh and their vendor, Digital Recorders, we were able obtain access and permission to incorporate real-time bus information in the context of DRA’s web and mobile marketing.  The community received the technological upgrade enthusiastically and also shared their interest in a mobile version of the map, which launched today.

    To access the mobile version visit http://www.YouRHere.com/mobile and click on the “R-LINE” tab.  The stops are listed with real-time projections for the two key index points and there is an icon that links to the R-LINE map.

  • Nick
    02/22 06:37 PM

    DRA - pretty weak, I couldn’t get it to work on my phone, using two different browsers.

  • DPK
    02/22 07:11 PM

    This thing seems kind of buggy.  The bus icon will just sit there for 10-15 seconds and then all of a sudden jump at warp speed down the route on the map.  I really don’t think the R-Line buses can do 0-60mph in less than a second.

  • Kevin
    02/22 08:05 PM

    The R-Line bus data isn’t “realtime”, it’s every 5-30 seconds and varies.  It updates as the data changes.  It could be animated like the R-Line website, but then you’ll have to wait a few more seconds for the bus to finish moving before you know it’s last known location.  It probably all comes down to bandwidth trade-off, both for the bus’s connectivity and the website’s.

  • Jim T.
    02/23 09:13 AM

    Wow, I would have expected the DRA to be more supportive of a local small business.  I’m disappointed that they would bully these guys who are trying to help, when the DRA should have had a mobile app from day one!  I doubt that the people who built DRA’s web site are local, and you can bet they didn’t build it for free.  Fail!

  • RLP
    02/23 10:09 AM

    So lame. Thank a lot DRA. The webtracking provided by open intelligence worked great on my phone. Now, nothing functional. Way to look out for your riders!

  • T-Plain
    02/23 10:30 AM

    This “official” mess uses a static image for a map instead of GMaps? And it doesn’t indicate “you are here?” Open Intelligence did it for free, and better.

  • Passionate About DTR
    02/23 11:36 AM

    I live, work, and play downtown and I use the R-line once in a while. I would use it more frequently if the bus schedule was more dependable and predictable. Months ago I said to my husband that it would be great if they had a gps tracker on the bus so when I saw it was available I was so excited. Now I’m very disappointed in DRA! This seems like juvenile behavior or maybe it’s an ego thing but it’s not in the best interest of the R-line users…think about it!

  • 29er
    02/23 03:57 PM

    How sad.  This was a great app and this should be for public consumption.  If someone writes an app to help people use services like the line then I say the more the merrier….

  • Kurt
    02/23 06:18 PM

    Way to be a community player DRA (not).
    Way to roll over Open Intelligence.

  • orulz
    03/01 01:58 PM

    Not too much point to having a separate website for the R-line anyway, since both the R-line, and ALL CAT routes, are on the bus tracker at http://www.raleighrides.org

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