Thursday, December 18, 2014

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MTA Transit App Contest Winners Help Smartphone Users Navigate NYC

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TWC News: MTA Transit App Contest Winners Help Smartphone Users Navigate NYC
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For frequent public transportation users, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has just introduced the winners of a contest to develop smartphone applications that make it easier to get around New York City. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

Citymapper can tell users when the next 6 train is coming, how long it will take to get across town on the M42, or if it is better to walk.

On Tuesday, Citymapper won the Best Overall App Award and $20,000 in the MTA and AT&T App Quest Challenge.

"We want to take all the real-time data on every single mode of transport we can find and help you deal with all your different transport use cases: getting from A to B, live departure boards, disruptions," said Citymapper CEO Azmat Yusuf.

Forty-nine app developers competed for $50,000 in prize money from AT&T, which encouraged digging through MTA data to create transit apps that can be downloaded onto smartphones.

"There will be a wealth of great options for our customers and for a million different transit-related applications, some of which we haven't even thought of," said MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast.

CityMapper takes real-time information for the numbered subway lines and some buses and puts it in a commuter's hands.

For those lines without countdown clocks, the app relies on schedules.

"We can tell you if you're going from A to B exactly, almost like a live estimated arrival time, when you can actually pick up the bus, so you don't ever have to wait at a bus stop again," Yusuf said.

The app gives people who don't feel like rushing to catch a bus or a subway the opportunity to maximize their time.

"Grab a coffee, have a break, go to the bathroom, and make sure you get there just in time to grab it," Yusuf said.

The app also calculates how long a walk or a cab ride would take and lets users know about bike and docking space availability at CitiBike locations.

CityMapper can also alert users when it's time to hop off a bus and provide a weather report.

All of the apps are available for downloading. For more information, go to for a link to the App Quest website.

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