App for That

Embark NYC Wants To Get You There On Time

Mr. Hauberg.

Kelly Faircloth is a guest blogger for Betabeat.

The travails of the New York City subway rider often seem endless, and while that late night map is undeniably snazzy, it’s going to take something a little more technically sophisticated to sort out the average rider’s woes.

Enter the MTA’s App Quest competition. Each of the 42 apps submitted make use of MTA data to create a better (or at least a less painful) mass transit experience. The judging criteria: quality, implementation, and potential impact. Even the runners up were promising: Free NYC Subway Location helps find the nearest station, and Notify Me NYC automatically alerts users if their usual train goes awry. Voters went for CityMaps.com, which melds real-time information from both subways and local businesses. But it was trip planner Embark NYC that took home the $5,000 grand prize. Read More

Metro Tech

M.T.A. Still Won’t Let App Developers Access the Good Data

We have this song in our head and now so do you.

The notoriously data prudish M.T.A. may have recanted its cease-and-desist letter to app developers in favor of one of those in vogue app competitions so popular with open governments these days, but that doesn’t mean the agency is giving up the good stuff.

Transit Nation reports that for the M.T.A.’s ongoing App Quest competiton (the public currently voting on 42 apps, which will be rewarded $15,000 in prizes), the M.T.A. did not expose data collected by the subway platform countdown clocks. The clocks, which report the actual time a train arrives, as opposed to the time that they’re scheduled to get there, could make apps much more valuable.  Read More