AT&T and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority today released 49 new apps designed to help improve commutes for millions of subway, bus and rail riders, and opened public voting for New Yorkers to select their favorite transit tool.
The apps were developed as part of the 2013 App Quest virtual challenge, a global competition to develop new mobile tools that use real time MTA data. App Quest launched in May with a weekend hackathon – the first officially sponsored by the MTA and AT&T – and developers had the opportunity to continue working on their apps through the final submission deadline in August.
Voting on the submitted apps is open now through September 10 and winners will be announced at the end of the month. In addition to the MTA and AT&T, App Quest is also sponsored by Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) and powered by ChallengePost.
“New Yorkers are always on the go and these apps will help connect riders to the information they need to improve their commutes,” said Marissa Shorenstein, New York State President, AT&T. “Innovation and accessibility to mobile technology is at the core of our partnership with the MTA – first through the addition of underground cellular service on 36 subway platforms and now, through our work to encourage new mobile tools to improve riders’ commutes. We are truly excited by the enthusiastic response to this challenge and look forward to hearing from New Yorkers as they vote for their favorite app.”
“We are very pleased that so many app developers have dedicated their time and energy toward creating apps that aim to help our customers,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. “Now the public gets to decide which ones they think are the best. We encourage all MTA customers to take a look at the apps, and vote.”
“It’s inspiring to see the variety of apps created for this year's App Quest,” said Brandon Kessler, CEO of ChallengePost. “Our world is being transformed by software before our eyes, and this competition proves the transit experience is no exception.”
Participants in the App Quest virtual challenge are competing for $40,000 in prize money to support the development of the apps that best help riders access the MTA’s subway, railroads, buses, bridges and tunnels. The app to receive the most votes will receive the Popular Choice award. Winners of the App Quest hackathon held in May were awarded a total of $10,000. All of the prize money is provided by AT&T.
The panel to select the top apps includes:
Matt Brimer, General Assembly Co-Founder
Barbara Cohn, Chief Data Officer, New York State Office of Information Technology Services
Rachel Haot, Chief Digital Officer, City of New York
Todd Haselton, Executive Director of Mobile, TechnoBuffalo
Brian Malkerson, Principle, NYC Seed
Andrew Rasiej, NY Tech Meetup Chairman
Marissa Shorenstein, President of AT&T New York
Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer, Columbia University
Craig Stewart, Senior Director of Capital Programs, MTA
The MTA first launched App Quest in 2012 and received 42 app submissions. Since then, Transit Wireless has activated wireless service at 36 underground subway stations in Manhattan and announced the expansion to the next 40 stations, in Queens and Manhattan, by the first quarter of 2014.