Open Trip Planner
From Portland Afoot
In other words, the new planner can tell you whether you could save time by hopping on the MAX for part of your crosstown bike trip.
And it would allow private software developers to build their own applications for smartphones and other computers.
McHugh said in October 2010 that in pursuing the project she hopes to be useful to TriMet users but also to save the agency money being spent on payments to the creators of its old online trip planner.
"We pay a lot of money to this company, and I don't know why, because there's been no enhancements or features in the past year since it's been up and running," she said of the legacy tool.
But McHugh, an evangelical believer in open-source software, also said TriMet "didn't want to develop a trip planner just for Portland. We wanted to create a viable trip planner for all transit agencies."
 A platform for third-party developers
McHugh said she hopes private developers will find ways to use the Open Trip Planner for many applications, just as some had used TriMet's own open arrival data to build apps like PDX Bus.
"It's very easy for developers to make applications now on different platforms, on mobile devices," McHugh said. "But what they need is data."
She said Portland's efforts to open a gusher of public data on the Internet will further improve the market for local third-party applications.
"Anything is possible," McHugh said. "We've got the richest, most valuable data in the world here. I think this is the place to do it."
 Created by international team of developers
TriMet hired OpenPlans, the nonprofit company behind Streetsblog, as a consultant on the project.
Michael Keating, a manager at OpenPlans, said the company believes deeply that "city governments in particular should be collaborating. ... They don't compete with each other the way commercial companies in a lot of industries do, so we think they should be sharing more."
But he noted that OpenPlans has had little success getting cities' money to help them share their data and software.
"We've been at this for a very long time, and this is one of our first actual paid projects on it," he said of Open Trip Planner.
 Funded by local grant
 Future features
As of October 2011, these features were listed as scheduled to be added to the planner, with new features "every couple weeks," according to McHugh:
- Bike parking locations
- Printer-friendly itineraries and maps
- Aerial imagery in the background (as a base map)
- Trips involving multiple transit agencies
- Elevation display for pedestrian trips
- Ability to modify biking trips by dragging the route on the map
- One-click switch between modes of travel for planned trips [Ability to get information about the trip on other modes and switch between modes more easily]
- Incorporating real-time transit information instead of schedules
- Improved pedestrian routing using safety and accessibility data
- Driving directions to transit centers and park-and-ride facilities
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