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App of the Week: TravAlarm

<p>The MTA provides up-to-the-minute updates on the status of train and bus service throughout the night. But you need to sleep, right? If there is a service disruption on your line and you need more time for your commute, how would you know to wake up early? Our App of the Week, TravAlarm, is an answer.</p>

<p><div style="float:right; margin-left:10px; margin-bottom:20px;"><img src="/sites/default/files/archive/imgs/TravAlarm.jpg" alt="TravAlarm App Graphic"></div>
While you sleep soundly, <a href="http://www.travalarm.com">TravAlarm</a> monitors the MTA's real-time status updates. If train or bus service is running normally, then the app does nothing. If there is a service disruption, the app will wake you up early to help you overcome the disruption and get to work on time.</p>
<p>To use TravAlarm, you set up to three transit routes for the app to monitor for delays. When a delay occurs on one those three routes, the alarm will wake you up at a predetermined earlier time, with a voice message describing the delay and its location. It will then play music until you turn it off or put it on snooze. Once you know about the nature of the delays, you'll be able to choose whether you want to leave earlier on your usual route or switch to an alternate route.</p>
<p>The app was introduced for New York in August 2011. It costs $1.99 and is available for <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/my/app/travalarm-nyc/id453218270?mt=8">iPhones and <a href="https://market.android.com/details?id=com.travel.nycalarm&feature=search... devices. It was originally developed by a Londoner, Arka Bala of the company Zappmine, who became frustrated after experiencing delays on the London Tube and Overground. "Using this app every day saves me a lot of trouble since I can take the less congested route," he said.</p>
<p>Zappmine also offers versions for London, Chicago, Boston and Washington, D.C. The version for New York works for the New York City Subway, the MTA's buses, the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, and Staten Island Railway.</p>