Screenshot of real time TARC Data

Screenshot of real time TARC Data on Your Mapper’s website

Well, we’re a long way from March 2013 (the second or third planned release date), but TARC has finally opened real-time bus data to developers.

Eventually, TARC’s Trip Planner will incorporate this capability (oddly Trip Planner does not recognize my home address even when I use the full address with zip code) but Michael Schnuerle of Your Mapper, one of the leaders of the movement to push the city and TARC for more open data, already has a demo map online.

TARC  uses bus-tracking software supplied by a company called Trapeze, whose head office is in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Trapeze, with no Kentucky offices, provides systems to manage transit, emergency vehicles, and school transportation. Trapeze allows the TARC HQ to track their buses using real-time GPS, but until recently company did not allow that data feed to be public.

At the last Transportation Camp in Nov. 2012, we were told that the real-time data would only refresh “every couple of minutes,” but it appears that this current feed refreshes every 60 seconds.

This development is just in time for Hacktucky, the open data hackathon we told you about yesterday. Schnuerle is a team leader for Hacktucky.

From the Your Mapper site:

This map shows the location of every  TARC bus. Data is from TARC’s GTFS real time data feed. The JS/HTML code for this map is open sourced on Github by YourMapper. If you’d like to use this data easily in your own app or site, see our Mashape API.