The following is a post by one of my advertisers about his iPhone Application. For more information on advertising on Second Ave. Sagas, contact me.
Hi, Chris here, blogger at StationStops.com and author of StationStops for iPhone (iTunes Link), an iPhone/iPod Touch application which allows Metro-North riders to look up train schedules directly on their iPhone — with or without an internet connection.
I am an advertiser with SecondAvenueSagas and longtime reader. Ben has graciously allowed me this post to shamelessly plug my app, as it is relevant to many of his readers who ride Metro-North (I think I had to buy him a beer at Pershing Square and beg a little also).
I started my blog, StationStops.com, shortly after I moved to Connecticut from California. Metro-North was my first introduction to commuter rail, and I was frustrated with much of the experience. I used my blog to vent to other riders.
One of my primary frustrations was the difficulty with which I could look up the Metro-North schedule. My station had nothing more than the gigantic, tiny-print PDF posted under glass (in an unlit location where I didn’t even know it existed until 3 months after riding the train).
I figured there must be some easy way to look up the schedule on my Blackberry, but there was not. Even looking it up on the web was a pain in the butt, as the form must be filled out each time, and you cannot simply bookmark the results for your station (StationStops.com does have these schedules in a bookmarkable format).
When the iPhone came out, I knew this would be a great platform for developing a mobile application for looking up Metro-North schedules.
With StationStops for iPhone, you can look up your next train while underground, on the subway, without an internet connection, in just a couple of clicks. As I commuted into and out of the city at odd hours, I found the app indispensable, and used it daily, even adding Grand Central Terminal track numbers (if you have an internet connection), and station information / Google Maps location for every station on Metro-North.
StationStops for iPhone remembers your home station, and knows what time it is, so it can show you your next trains with a single keypress.
StationStops for iPhone does have some limitations right now: It only works for trains traveling to or from Grand Central Terminal, it doesn’t handle holiday schedules and a handful of “special” trains, and you should always double-check your track when using the track number feature.
Currently I am in discussions with Metro-North towards expanding the usability, features, and accuracy of StationStops for iPhone and eliminate these limitations. But, its MTA, so, you know, it’s going slow 😉
I encourage Metro-North riders to check out my application — I have recently dropped the price in half from to $2.99, and its available now in the iTunes App Store for instant download on your iPhone.
If you have any questions about the app, please feel free to email me at stationstops at gmail dot com or follow me on Twitter as @stationstops.
iTunes reviews and comments are always welcome – but if you find a bug, have a complaint or suggestion about the app – please contact me first for more info – I usually respond within a few hours.
Also, for those of you like Ben who are struggling with finals right now, you may wish to check out my new application — ReadFaster for iPhone (iTunes link). It is a speedreading app using techniques I found indispensable for tearing through my reading list in college. It’s currently on sale for $.99.