Ottawa's public transit authority pulled access to its gobal positioning system information this week, shutting down a third-party application built to track city buses and trains.
OC Transpo had made the data available as part of a pilot project, which was suspended this week.
Jonathan Rudenberg took advantage of the information gleaned from trackers installed on all OC Transpo vehicles. He programmed the mobile application Whereismybus.ca in January and said the site racked up more than 2,500 hits during the one week it was live.
Rudenberg said the application was built for those who don't mind delays but can't stand "not knowing" when their next bus will arrive.
"If you're looking for a bus that comes every half hour, you want to know whether you have time to get a coffee or whatever while you're waiting for it," Rudenberg told CBC News.
The site's users could enter their stop number into the site and get real-time estimates of bus arrival times.
Alain Mercier, the OC Transpo general manager, said the GPS data isn't accurate enough and could provide misinformation to riders using an app like Rudenberg's.
"It was not designed for that," Mercier said, adding OC Transpo hopes to release a similar application later in the year.
"We have the platform to build it. We just have to unleash it in the right way so that it works for everyone."
Rudenberg said only one person reported getting misinformation from his app. He knew it was a pilot project but was sorry to see the data be pulled from use.
"I was a little disappointed … I knew it could happen," Rudenberg said. "I'm hoping it comes back soon."
Rudenberg made the application as part of the Apps4Ottawa competition, which made a host of city data available to programmers interested in creating web-based products that could improve city life.