Janet Babin, Economic Development Reporter, WNYC News
Janet Babin is a reporter at WNYC covering economic development.
A company that created an app to find transit directions that can be used in subway tunnels won the NY MTA's competition for the best Smartphone software app for riders
Embark NYC, can help NYC subway riders plan trips, see schedules for their particular route, and use an interactive map of the subway system.
David Hodge and Ian Leighton of Embark worked with two others to create the free application. “It even works underground, while you’re in the subway,” said Hodge.
The second prize was awarded to Free NYC Subway Locator, created by Jordan Hill of Flatiron Factory. His app lets users find the nearest subway stop to wherever they are. But it only works on the iPhone. Still, Hill said it took months to complete. “I’ll spend next summer developing the Subway Locator for the Android,” joked Hill.
The contest also featured winners voted on by the public. The top spot for the popular choice award went to CityMaps, and app developed by Christopher Winfield. It combines real-time information about local businesses with subway information about how to reach them.
One of the honorable mention apps, called Art by Subway NYC, lets iPhone or iPad users discover commissioned artworks within the subway system. Another one, Annadale Apps links iPhone users with the Staten Island Ferry and Staten Island Railway schedules so that they become one seamless entity. All forty-two new apps can be found on the website http://mtaappquest.com/
Winners received anywhere from $5-thousand to $500-dollars, and get to keep their intellectual property. They were fêted at a ceremony at Grand Central Terminal. But MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said: “It’s pretty clear who the real winners are: all of us—the riding public—the 8.5 million people who use our system every single day and now have more tools to make those trips easier and more rewarding,” said Lhota.