Philly Transit on Monzo! 🔔

heya hiya, :wave:

i was told to stop by here to drop my hottest mixtape of the summer fall: philly transit integration with monzo! it links my philly transit card to monzo thanks to the magic of application programming interfaces, featuring…

:bell: instant tap notifications!
:bus: transit rides displayed like any other transaction!
:white_check_mark: a (web)view for showing trip + card details!

here’s a video of that jawn in action:

backstory time! :open_book:

a while back, i built a jawn that exports my philly transit card taps as read-only wordpress posts (i was planning to make a “weekly/monthly/yearly rider report” sometime in the future). it works by having a scraper logging into and looking for an network requests that returns trips for a certain card.

so when i got my monzo card on monday, i messed around wit ifttt and figured, “there must be an api for monzo,” and it turns out, there is! the first low-hanging-fruit idea that came into mind was getting philly transit notifications in the feed, soooo this took me roughly 2 hours to scrap this together: :woman_technologist:

  • 90 mins of which was spent getting oauth to work and dealing with your unique security flow, because every single (o)auth implementation is slightly different enough to teek me
  • 10 mins hooking up transit data to the feed api
  • 20 mins to build a transactions details webpage w/ ionic + vuejs thamimickeded the monzo transaction details view (most of it was off-the-shelf ionic, the top map/icon/gradient and card needed custom css)

screenshots! :framed_picture:

here’s what the feed looks like:

and here’s what the detail view looks like:

only SEPTA-branded mastercards are accepted on the philly transit system, so these transactions happened on an external card (outdated technology prevents other cards or mobile wallet from being used – another story for another time!) however, i can say that if support for third party cards (like monzo’s) were to be added in the future, it would should be possible to retrieve trip data for those cards in a similar manner :slight_smile:


Someone give them a job at :monzo_usa:



I first saw this on Twitter.

Some fantastic work, @melody! :raised_hands:

Great work! :grin:

Wow - very cool! Excellent work!

Another win for APIs and Monzo being non-paranoid about users tinkering!

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i’m glad to hear that you all liked this! :smile:

i’m kinda burned out from having to go thru the tech interview process nonstop for the past few years, but i figured it wouldn’t hurt to drop my portfolio in here: i am still looking for a job and i do a mix of dev/design/storytelling!


SEPTA is in the process of enabling Contactless. It was not fully live yet over the summer, but the readers now have Visa and Discover logos!

i have actually been somewhat involved with the new payment technology (NPT) project for quite a while through their advisory council :wink:

so here’s the thing: you are not going to see true contactless on the transit system anytime soon. the technology used in the card readers are from around 2012/13 and predate a lot of newer EMV/contactless standards and mobile payments. here’s a timeline that puts the original contract deadline into perspective:

unfortunately that means the physical hardware would have to be replaced, and the acceptance logos are a lie (they have been there since launch and feature old fan favourites like cough paypass and cough paywave and cough whatever discover has)


so jawn is part of the philadelphia regional dialect of english, it is a catch-all that can be used to refer to literally anything! here’s how google dictionary defines it:



  1. (chiefly in eastern Pennsylvania) used to refer to a thing, place, person, or event that one need not or cannot give a specific name to.

“these jawns are very inexpensive”

it’s one of many words that i unknowingly use out of habit cuz i grew up with it! i also sometimes spell using canadian english, largely from working with a lotta folks outside the US :joy:

(if there is something else that does not make sense to you, don’t be afraid to ask me about it!)

Discover Zip :slight_smile: