NJ Transit shuts off key commuter tip in feud with web developer
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15, 2012
BY KAREN RO– USE
For nearly four months, roughly 300 NJ Transit rail customers literally held in their hands a piece of insider information that gave them an advantage in the evening rush out of New York Penn Station.
They knew which track their North Jersey-bound train would arrive on first — as much as 20 minutes before it appeared on the departure screens.
But now these subscribers to CleverCommute.com’s “Insider Track” premium service — who had gotten used to taking a leisurely walk to the tracks instead of making a mad scramble — find themselves “going through withdrawal.”
That’s how commuter Mike Kornstein described the impact after NJ Transit cut off Clever Commute founder Joshua Crandall’s access to the live track data he was supplying to his “Inside Track” subscribers. They pay $3.99 per month, or $39.99 for an annual plan, which has a dozen other features including notice of schedule changes or sales on monthly passes.
NJ Transit Spokesman John Durso Jr. said that after a months-long feud with Crandall, the agency blocked access — starting on Aug. 3 — because the data weren’t always accurate.
The “website now has access to the same free and accurate information we provide to everyone else,” Durso said.