App of the Week
Since last year when the MTA announced a new policy providing open access to MTA data, over 40 app developers have signed MTA license agreements. One of those licensees, Roadify, just nabbed a grand prize in New York's prestigious BigApps contest. This week, Roadify received another though lesser honor –it was named the MTA's App of the Week.
Open data sources at the MTA's Developer Resources page found on our website helped Roadify join WayFinder, who grabbed the top prize in the BigApps contest last year.
Roadify is an iPhone app that merges real-time transit data with social networking and crowdsourcing. Think of it as a countdown clock with lots of friends and personality.
Like most good apps, its genius is its simplicity. You type in "Get" or "Give," depending on whether you want to send or receive information, then locations or transit stops. In addition to transit updates, users get on-the-spot reports, where the possibilities are endless. As Roadify co-founder Dylan Goelz puts it, the feedback could report anything "from delays to whether there's a Mariachi band on the third car."
But that's just the tip of the appberg. Licensing agreements apply only to apps using MTA trademarked graphics. The data itself has been used by any number of whiz kids to create well over 100 web apps, ultimately benefiting MTA customers with new ways to access real-time transit information.
This has been a radical change in the MTA's thinking and has been a huge success. These MTA-related apps offer further proof that IT and public transportation are natural allies. Each helps the other work better.