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MTA, AT&T declare winners of transit app contest


New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and AT&T announced the winners of the 2013 App Quest challenge this week. The challenge was designed to highlight the best mobile apps for the millions of MTA customers who tote up to an impressive 2.6 billion trips each year on the MTA's buses, subways and commuter rail trains.

Best Overall App went to the developers of Citymapper (free), which provides real-time information on subways, buses and even bicycle sharing in New York City and London. The developers won US$20,000 for the app, which not only provides transportation information but also local weather and information on shutdowns and service disruptions. It can even tell passengers when to get off a bus.

The MTA fought third-party apps initially, but in 2010, it decided to work with developers and started making information on scheduling, ridership and route performance freely available. The App Quest competition is in its second year -- last year's winning app, Embark (free), was acquired by Apple last month.

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