AT&T and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority today released the 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.
About the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is North America’s largest public transportation network, serving a population of 14.9 million people in the 5,000-square-mile area fanning out from New York City through Long Island, the Hudson Valley, and southwestern Connecticut. MTA subways, buses, and railroads provide 2.63 billion trips each year to New Yorkers – the equivalent of about one in every three users of mass transit in the United States and two-thirds of the nation’s rail riders.
About Polytechnic Institute of New York University
The Polytechnic Institute of New York University (formerly the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and the Polytechnic University, now widely known as NYU-Poly) is an affiliated institute of New York University, soon to be its School of Engineering. NYU-Poly, founded in 1854, is the nation’s second-oldest private engineering school. It is presently a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences, rooted in a 159-year tradition of invention, innovation and entrepreneurship. It remains on the cutting edge of technology, innovatively extending the benefits of science, engineering, management and liberal studies to critical real-world opportunities and challenges, especially those linked to urban systems, health and wellness, and the global information economy. In addition to its programs on the main campus in New York City at MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn, it offers programs around the globe remotely through NYUe-Poly. NYU-Poly is closely connected to engineering in NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai and to the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) also at MetroTech, while operating two incubators in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. For more information, visit www.poly.edu.
ChallengePost is a web platform that enables government agencies, corporations, non-profits, and individuals to challenge the public to solve problems. Challenge sponsors receive innovative solutions and increased awareness around important initiatives. Members of the public receive recognition and rewards. ChallengePost has powered over 200 challenges on behalf of some of the world’s largest organizations.