Image from TrainLogic.

Open data stimulates innovation: We’ve pointed out that if WMATA releases schedule data for Google Transit, not only would we then be able to use Google Transit, but software developers could use the data for who knows what creative purpose. Trainlogic used commuter rail schedules from Boston, New York (Long Island Rail Road and New Jersey Transit), Philadelphia and Chicago to build clever animated visualizations of train service. They also create and sell software for mobile phones for numerous systems including MARC and VRE but, of course, not Metro. Tip: Michael.

Miserable bus failure: Donald Rumsfeld tried to ride the bus last week instead of driving. But the 42 was full, and he walked instead. Tip: also Michael.

Wi-Fi under the Bay: BART announced a deal to provide Wi-Fi on its trains. Commuters will be able to buy yearly service for $300, or monthly, daily or two-hour passes. Tip: once again, Michael via The Transport Politic.

NPS “pooh-poohs”, then reconsiders paid parking: After printing the recent letter suggesting NPS start charging for parking on the Mall’s interior roads, the Post decided to follow up. “The [NPS] spokesman at first pooh-poohed the idea — and then called back to say that paid parking is being considered.” Best of all, the Post editorial board seems to have learned something about parking, writing, “Equally important is that there really is no such thing as free parking. The spots set aside come at a cost to the environment and to the general public. … Not many people love parking meters, but it makes sense that people who use the roads should pay just as people who take Metro do.”

Stimulus update: Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has introduced an amendment to the Senate stimulus bill boosting transit funding to match the House funding and actually go beyond in capital funding. Please call your Senator (if you have a Senator) to urge support for this amendment.