Posted September 24th, 2013
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority and AT&T today announced the winners of the 2013 App Quest challenge, a global competition to develop new mobile tools that use real time MTA data to improve commutes for millions of subway, bus and rail riders. MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast and Marissa Shorenstein, New York State President, AT&T announced the winners at an awards ceremony and app demonstration in Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall, where they were joined by New York State Chief Data Officer Barbara Cohn, President of Polytechnic Institute of New York University Katepalli R. Sreenivasan, ChallengePost CEO Brandon Kessler, App Quest judges and design teams.
The winners include:
“The app developers who competed in this challenge have shown that they have the know-how, the enthusiasm, and the energy to do great things with the open data we and others provide,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Prendergast. “And we are glad that so many in the tech community have put their efforts into helping the MTA, and, more importantly, our customers. That’s why we are going to continue to expand the amount of open data we provide.”
“As our network continues to expand underground, we are presented with a unique opportunity to improve the commuting experience for the millions of MTA customers who ride the subways, buses and rails each day,” said Shorenstein, New York State President, AT&T. “AT&T is excited to be part of the innovation process that develops better tools utilizing mobile communication and benefits the greater public.”
“MTA AT&T App Quest embraces the spirit of Governor Cuomo’s landmark OpenNY – New York State’s comprehensive Open Data portal,” said Chief Data Officer for the New York State Office of Information Technology Services Cohn. “Utilizing technology to enhance access to government data promotes greater government efficiency, improves performance, sparks innovation, and enhances citizen engagement.”
“This challenge illustrates the importance of engineering to our everyday lives in the 21st century, as well as the power of partnerships between academia, government and the private sector,” said NYU-Poly President Sreenivasan. “The spark that ignited the App Quest and the one-day hackathon in May arose from an NYU-Poly research and classroom project to make use of MTA data, and the support of AT&T helped make possible the tens of apps that will benefit the MTA’s 8.5 million commuters. The students of our Integrated Digital Media program, like engineering students throughout New York, find excitement and experience through such real-world challenges, and NYU-Poly is pleased to play a role in the 2013 App Quest.”
“App Quest continues to galvanize software developers, designers, and technologists around the world who look to improve transit by tapping into great data and APIs,” said Kessler, CEO of ChallengePost. “We're excited by the growth of this competition from last year. In addition to rallying software makers from across the U.S., App Quest attracted entries from Australia, Israel, Singapore, and the U.K.”
The apps were developed as part of the 2013 App Quest virtual challenge that launched in May with a weekend hackathon – the first to be officially sponsored by the MTA. Developers had the opportunity to continue working on their apps through the final deadline in August. App Quest received 49 total submissions.
In the last year, AT&T has helped lead the activation of wireless service in underground subway stations, and the MTA’s Transit Wireless program has connected 36 stations in Manhattan to free public WiFi. The MTA has announced it will expand Transit Wireless to the next 40 stations, in Queens and Manhattan, by the first quarter of 2014.
The panel that selected the winning apps included digital, transit and tech experts from across the City, including:
More information about the winning apps: