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Re: “hbus, the transit day tripper

Dr. Fever: "I just don't feel that the argument of MT providing all of their information is a valid one. It would be like me providing another bank with trade secrets."

I feel like the comments here are turning into everyone refuting Dr. Fever's arguments. But I'm willing to keep this going, because I think it's educational and important for everyone to understand.

The idea of "trade secrets" does not apply in this situation. Metro Transit is a public government agency, not a money-making venture. Ticket prices don't even remotely cover the costs of running the service. Any and all money coming into the city through Metro Transit does so indirectly through "consumers" and the work force.

So any improvement to MT's transit system is a benefit to MT and the city. There are no "trade secrets." At least, none that are really secrets. Cities are always comparing themselves with the models that have been put forward by different cities. Governments talk to each other. Metro Transit has nothing to lose by sharing its information. It has plenty to gain.

The only people who *might* stand to lose anything by the sharing of Metro Transit's route information are the companies MT has signed on with to make their new trip planner. And that "loss" is really just the result of competition.

I can only hope that MT is sourcing to local programmers. In that case it actually would be a shame if they are being undercut by other local programmers who are providing the same services for free.

Posted by lu_lu on 04/08/2009 at 5:42 PM

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