Monday, February 23, 2009

Metra Service Updates via Twitter

Winter in Chicago is still going strong, and nothing can be worse than standing in the cold, waiting for the Metra train that should have arrived 20 minutes ago. Although Metra makes delay information available via http://www.metrarail.com/Service_Updates/, it can be hard to remember to check before heading out in the morning.

I spent a couple hours coding with the python-twitter API last week, and now you can take advantage of
Twitter to keep track of Metra and get updates on your mobile device. Keep up with all delays by following @metradelays, or just monitor your own line with:

Union Pacific North:
@metraUPN
Union Pacific Northwest:
@metraUPNW
Union Pacific West:
@metraUPW

Milwaukee District North:
@metramdn
Milwaukee District West:
@metraMDW

North Central:
@metranc
Burlington Northern SF:
@metrabnsf

Heritage Corridor:
@metraHC
Rock Island District:
@metrari

Southwest Line: @metrasw
Electric Line:
@metrae


Happy commuting!

13 comments:

Ray Krueger said...

Did you write this thing? I just started following @metrabnsf, just awesome. You should put the code for this up on github or something :)

Jeff Judge said...

Nice work, super helpful

Jonathan said...

good stuff - I'm going to link to this from my site - http://thechicagometratrain.com

Sewunicorn said...

Just read about your feedscrape on the Tribune website. Way to go!!

Jesse said...

Thank you very much for making this! I've wanted something like this for years now. I look forward to the day Metra allows us to follow trains using GPS, but in the mean time, this looks to be the most accessible way to get info using my phone. Thanks again!

nerfpants said...

Thanks for doing what Metra should have been doing all along.

Joseph said...

Mr. Zale, I saw today's article in the Trib and I want to thank you very much for setting this up on Twitter. I had asked Metra do set up a "text msg alert" about a year or so ago (before I became aware of Twitter) and they said they couldn't do it (funding?!). And I had to mail my request in a letter, they don't even have e-mail. Unfortunately, the RRs are still stuck in the Stone Age. Thanks again!

Katnp said...

Thanks for taking the time to create this! Wonderful!

Concetta Phillipps said...

I saw your article in the paper. Way to go! That's great work and SO awesome. I'm now following @metrabnsf!

@cfbandit

Steph said...

Just saw it on Fox.

You sir, are a genius.

Michael said...

This is great. I'm not sure if this would be possible, but it would be cool to be able to specify a particular subset of BNSF trains to follow since I don't care about delays to the locals or the naperville trains (I'm in Downers). Thanks for creating this, it was long overdue!!

ipstenu said...

Seriously, I thought that Metra had caught up with the times...

Bugger! Wish you could get it to post in lowercase, but that would probably involve the Metra learning that it's 2009!

vinyaard22 said...

God bless you, sir! Maybe you could write them an appropriate interface to accept credit cards....