The MTA challenged software developers to use MTA data to create new apps that improve the transit experience of its 8.5 million daily riders.

About MTA App Quest

The challenge will award $15,000 in total cash prizes. Winners will receive up to $5,000, be featured on the MTA’s website, and be promoted through outreach to the news media and via the MTA’s social media channels . In addition to cash prizes, winners will receive a selection of MTA-licensed products. Prizes will be awarded for apps that do the most to improve the transit experience of the MTA’s by helping riders better navigate the system. All contestants submitting eligible applications will be invited to an exclusive, behind the scenes tour of Grand Central Terminal.

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.

The MTA has made more than a dozen data sets available for the challenge, including General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) schedule data; current service status; real-time information for some bus lines; elevator/escalator status; turnstile and fare data; bridge and tunnel traffic data; and subway entrance GIS data.

About the MTA

The MTA is the largest public transportation agency in North America, comprising:

  • MTA New York City Transit, which operates the New York City subway, Staten Island Railway, local and express buses in New York City, and the Access-A-Ride paratransit service.
  • The MTA Bus Company, which operates local and express buses in New York City.
  • MTA Long Island Rail Road
  • MTA Metro-North Railroad
  • MTA Bridges and Tunnels which operates seven bridges and two tunnels for motor vehicle traffic in New York City.
  • MTA Capital Construction, which is actively building the following major projects: the Second Avenue subway; the Fulton Street Transit Center; East Side Access, connecting the LIRR to Grand Central; and the 7-line extension, bringing the 7 subway train to 34th St. and 11th Avenue.
  • MTA Long Island Bus, which will continue to operate the bus service of Nassau County, New York, through December 31, 2011.

View full rules

How to enter

  1. Explore the available MTA data and check out the Developer Resources for the challenge.
  2. Create a working software application that uses MTA data.
  3. Between 10 a.m. EST on July 11, 2011 and 5 p.m. on Novermber 21, 2011, create an account or log in with an existing ChallengePost account. Confirm that you have read and agree to the Official Rules, and submit your application by including a link, video, text description, and image of your working application.

Judges

Jen Chung

Jen Chung
Executive Editor, Gothamist, and Co-Founder, Gothamist LLC

Jeff Ferzoco

Jeff Ferzoco
Creative and Technology Director, Regional Plan Association

Mark Gorton

Mark Gorton
Founder and Chairman, OpenPlans and Founder, Tower Research Capital LLC

Wael Hibri

Wael Hibri
Chief Enterprise Information Officer, Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Noel Hidalgo

Noel Hidalgo
Director of Engagement Technologies, World Economic Forum

Cas Holloway

Cas Holloway
Deputy Mayor for Operations, City of New York

Benjamin Kabak

Benjamin Kabak
Founder, Second Avenue Sagas

Lawrence Levy

Lawrence Levy
Executive Dean, National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University

Rachel Sterne

Rachel Sterne
Chief Digital Officer, City of New York

Judging Criteria

  • Quality
    Includes elements such as creativity and originality of the idea.
  • Implementation
    How well the idea was executed by the developer. Includes user experience and design.
  • Impact
    Potential positive impact on MTA riders.