Technology should make getting around NYC easier

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How do you check your travel status before you head out the door? Or do you leave it all to chance?

New Yorkers have some favorite apps that help direct their directions.

The MTA and AT&T sponsor a regular contest for developers. The data is always available for free to software designers who use it to create apps for commuters to use. The MTA charges for use of official maps and logos.

“Each year of the App Quest Challenge has brought forth new and innovative ideas that have helped connect New Yorkers and visitors to the information they need as they make their way around the city,” said Marissa Shorenstein, New York State President, AT&T.

Winners will be announced by March 19, 2015.

View the submissions here.

The cell carriers and Transit Wireless are installing cell phone and WiFi service in the underground subway system. It is set to be complete by the end of 2017.

“Transit Wireless is excited to join AT&T and the MTA in supporting App Quest 3.0 by deploying advanced beacon technology for the first time ever in an underground public transportation system,” said William Bayne, CEO of Transit Wireless. "We’ve been inspired by the range of creative new apps developed to use beacons to enhance the commuting experience for subway riders, and look forward to seeing which app generates the most public interest.”

A news release says participants in the App Quest virtual challenge compete for $50,000 in prize money to support the development of the apps that best help riders access the MTA’s subway, railroads, buses, bridges and tunnels. AT&T provides the prize money.

The MTA is continuing with plans to update the signal systems and improve tracks which allow more trains to run. Those projects needs local, state and federal support.

Check location of buses along all routes in NYC using MTA Bus Time or your favorite app.

Train information can be found for the 1,2,3,4,5,6 and L trains here and also on apps such as Roadify, Moovit, and nycTrans.It. Transit App offers info on different modes of transportation.

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