MBTA Rail provides experienced Boston commuters with as much information as possible about the location and status of their trains. This app is designed for seasoned commuters who are already familiar with their line schedule.
• Near real-time location information (next stop, current stop, GPS location, predicted arrival time, and vehicle speed)
• Boarding track numbers
• See your train on a map along with other trains along your route
• View historical coach numbers, boarding tracks, and average on time percentages
• Crowd-sourced information. Is a prediction wrong? Train delayed mid-trip? Wondering if your train is standing room only? Discuss through the "Reports" button next to each trip
• Full schedule view with predicted arrival times for each stop
• Service alerts (delays, cancellations, track changes, etc.)
• Clean, user-friendly, and ad-free interface
Note: data is sourced directly from the MBTA's real-time feeds which is collected using PTIS equipment installed on the trains. We don't make any predictions ourselves; this app is simply an interface for the MBTA's data. This app is as accurate as the MBTA's data allows us to be.
We are NOT affiliated with the MBTA, Keolis, or MassDOT. Follow us on Twitter at @MBTARailTracker for updates.
The app now displays an "unknown" status instead of "on time" if a train is underway but its GPS is not reporting. We don't know that these trains are on time so we're no longer going to assume it is.
We're also trying to be smarter about detecting bad GPS data. Sometimes trains will report themselves to be 20+ minutes late when they're actually on time. If a train shows signs of this happening we'll let you know that we think something's wrong with the GPS transmission.
This release also contains a few bug fixes:
- Fixed a bug that prevented the Routes and Departures tab from automatically updating when resuming the app from the background
- Fixed a bug on the Schedule view that prevented the "minutes away" prediction from updating properly
- Fixed a bug that caused times in the Departures tab to be a minute or two off
- Fixed a bug that prevented route-wide delay or cancellation alerts from prominently displaying in the app
- Fixed a bug where tapping on a trip would sometimes expand the wrong one
Ratings and Reviews
Makes you into a commuting cyborg
This app has become the brains of my commute; I got to spend an extra five minutes playing Exapunks this morning since I could see my train was going to be late and I knew exactly where to stand for the double decker car so I could get a table. It has features not available from the MBTA API, such as train lateness trends, platform number likelihood (so you can decide where to stand in the station as you swig from that brown paper bag) and crowd-sourced reporting on timeliness and train car hygiene (“car number 2 smells like a squirrel died in a container of bad yogurt”).
In summary, this app has earned its status as the only React Native app on my home screen.
(Was going to deduct one star because no watchOS app yet, but then I remembered that using App Store reviews to coerce developers into adding pet features is a jank move.)
The best commuter rail app!
I just started taking the commuter rail and this app has saved me so much time and frustration. Not only does it surface delays so I don’t wait outside on the track, but the Reporting feature allows passengers to share real-time updates on specific trains. This morning there was a long delay due to a disabled train, but a “mystery train” showed up and was running 5 minutes ahead. Was able to track that status through other passengers and actually get a window seat.
To the developer, I’d love the ability to sort or filter by inbound/outbound trains, since I’m only ever looking at one direction.
Best app for seasoned commuter
If you commute in to Boston daily this app is for you. It can help you get a jump on the crowds boarding the trains at south station and confirms if your guess was correct after you’re on the train. Really well done. Community comments can get a little annoying but they are still more useful than not. Would be cool if you could implement a reddit comment rating system so the gold would flow to the top and the nonsense would drift down into obscurity, a feeling commuters can appreciate.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.