The MBTA is taking its first significant step toward offering real-time information on where its buses are and when they'll get to the next stop.
The T plans to offer data for five of the area's most popular bus routes, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation announced Saturday. Software developers will be able to access the feeds for use in mobile phone and Web-based applications.
The five bus routes include bus 39, which serves Jamaica Plain, the Longwood Medical Area, and Back Bay in Boston; and bus routes 111, 114, 116 and 117, which serve Haymarket Station, East Boston, Chelsea and Revere.
The real-time data builds on the MBTA's earlier offering of transit data on Google Maps and of geographic and scheduling data, released to developers this summer.
MassDOT announced the real-time data release at the first annual MassDOT Developers Conference Saturday at MIT. The conference included training sessions for state regional transit authorities who are looking to convert their transit data to open formats.
A MassDOT spokesman said the agency hopes to expand the real-time data feed to include more routes and information.
This program aired on November 14, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.