‘This is my stop’: MetroHero hands conductor’s hat to new WMATA commuters, watchdogs

MetroHero — a D.C. transit project launched in 2015 with the goal of keeping track of Metro’s trains, issues and commute changes in real time — has reached its final stop. A number of new trackers have already stepped up to take its place.

Friday, Metro said the MetroMeter tool will step in to provide real time information similar to the MetroHero app.

Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Randy Clarke released a statement on the change.

“MetroHero was popular with customers for good reason, and Metro is excited to provide our customers with a similar tool to track our performance in real time and bring more transparency to our operations. Metro thanks the creators of MetroHero for their years of service to our customers, and we’re proud to continue their work to shine light on our progress providing excellent service to the region.”

MetroMeter is expected to go online late this week, according to the transit agency. Metro said it’s also working on adding similar tools to Metrobus and MetroAccess options, though plans for a separate phone app were not immediately announced.

James Pizzurro, the lead developer and co-founder of MetroHero, announced plans to offline the application after July 1.

“Given all the positive changes we’ve seen in the app landscape and in WMATA’s data management and communication over the past 7 years, we’ve decided that the time has come for us to sunset the MetroHero project,” Pizzurro wrote in February.

James and Jen, who created the website and application, shared the source code for their application on GitHub just days before the project went offline. That data appears to be in use, bringing life to a number of similar sites for the D.C. Metro area.

On Saturday afternoon, Pizzurro announced that servers were offline and users would see a blank screen when navigating MetroHero’s app and website. Automated social media accounts also stopped posting alert content.

“Thank you again for the overwhelming support we’ve received since our announcement that we were closing up shop back in February,” Pizzurro exclaimed. “Y’all are the best.”

MetroHero’s concurrent project ARIES for Transit will continue, expanding its reach to provide data and grades for transit systems in the Greater Washington and Baltimore areas.

“It’s been incredibly humbling to have been a part of so many important conversations with such a diverse array of advocates, enthusiasts, watchdogs, and elected and unelected officials about the integral role transit plays in our region,” Pizzurro told followers. “We look forward to continuing to have these conversations with you all, just with a bit of a different slant than we have before.”

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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