App-ly yourself and help mass transit users
Jul 13, 2011 | 1853 views | 0 0 comments | 69 69 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Hey techies, here's your chance to put your skills to use helping your fellow subway riders.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) on Monday launched MTA App Quest, a competition challenging tech developers to create software applications that increase access to information on subways, buses, railroads and bridges and tunnels.

ChallengePost, a global marketplace for challenges and community-driven innovation, is powering and co-sponsoring MTA App Quest with the MTA.

The winning app developer will receive $5,000. Smaller cash prizes will go to the developers of apps that are judged to do the most to help riders and motorists better navigate the MTA’s system and those that are deemed most popular by the public. (The MTA is not contributing financially to the prize money pool.)

For a complete list of prizes and contest rules, visit Winners will be selected by a panel of judges made up of technology and transportation experts.

“Over the past two years, we’ve made more and more information available to app developers, and we’re thrilled that they’re taking this information and using it to benefit our customers,” said MTA Chairman Jay Walder.

To provide more data for developers to use as they design apps for MTA customers, the MTA is releasing new data sets to complement its existing schedule, geographic and other data sets. The newly released data sets consist of:

• Historical data showing times and locations of train movements on the 4, 5 and 6 subway lines throughout May 2011.

• Location data of resources inside subway stations such as platforms, elevators, turnstiles and station agent booths.

• Shapes of bus routes.

• Locations of outside retailers who sell E-ZPasses.

• Performance data for all MTA Agencies from 2008 to present.

To maximize the amount of data available to contestants, the MTA will continue to make additional new data sets available through July 21 for developers to use. The data sets can be found at

Submissions to the MTA App Quest are due by September 26, and the public will be invited to view and vote for all submissions for three weeks this fall. Winners will be announced in November. The competition is open to individuals and organizations in the United States (and its territories) and submitted apps should run on the web, desktop computers, tablets, and/or mobile phone platforms.

“Through this competition, we are taking the next step to engage with the app developer community to encourage the creation of even more useful apps,” said Walder.

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