In this article CNet’s Rafe Needleman provides an excellent and comprehensive roundup of the status of publicly available transit information and the apps developers trying, sometimes in vain, to take advantage of it.
Take the case of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Agency which believes its public train schedules are entitled to copyright protection. The MTA sent a takedown notice to Apple under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) for it to remove StationStops, an iPhone app that gives people access to train schedules on the Metro-North lines, from the app store.
Not every local government or public agency is approaching this issue in this fashion. Needleman’s CNet piece includes discussion of successful efforts to put public information in the public’s hands underway in Portland, San Francisco and elsewhere.