New York MTA is asking developers for help with $40k app challenge


The New York Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is asking developers for help in solving some of its transit challenges. The MTA announced a $40,000 app challenge sponsored by AT&T and has posted a wish list on ChallengePost. The MTA already has several apps available for subway riders but most of them include transit times or rout change alerts. The new wish list is asking developers to work with newly captured real-time transit data to help MTA improve services.

The MTA and AT&T are offering new APIs to help developers build their submissions. Developers can also email both organizations through the ChallengePost page to request other data or APIs.

The wish list has several requests for apps including: the use of data and transit information for all subway and train lines in one application; the use of crowdsourced location services to report changes and alerts; mapping; integration of social networks and transit data; and, notably, investment visualization.

In its request for data visualization applications, the MTA is looking for help to present its capital investment and current construction plans in a way that will be helpful to transit riders. MTA is also looking for visualizations and applications that bring in auxiliary transit programs like NYC BikeShare and the new Citibike program.

The winner will get a $20,000 prize and runners up will receive smaller awards. The judging panel includes officials from the transit system in New York, along with AT&T of New York President Marissa Shorenstein and members of the local venture capital and academic communities. Developers can submit both new and existing transit applications. The deadline is August 20, 2013.