The CTA has followed through on a promise made last year at a Tattler event by the former president to share the computer code behind Bus Tracker so outside developers can use it to create desktop or mobile apps and widgets.
“CTA will launch a developer tools portal on [its] Web
site that will provide pre-packaged application program interfaces, or
APIs, initially for bus and rail schedules, customer alerts and Bus
Tracker,” according to a CTA press release.
The CTA noted that recently the Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce used the API data on monitors installed at select businesses to show bus arrival times, while neighborhood alerts and other news items rotate on the same screen.
Also, read here how one developer cracked the code earlier and used it to set up a system
for making regular queries to Bus Tracker and caching (storing) the
results in a separate, stand-alone database over on a server that goes
by the name of http://chicago.transitapi.com. Presumably, that will no longer be necessary.