The MTA isn’t all train closures and fare hikes; it’s also holding App Quest a mobile app contest with over $50,000 in prizes to make our harried commute somewhat easier. The entries, developed last May over a 19-hour Hackathon, are currently under scrutiny by a panel of judges. But the Popular Choice Award — worth $1,000 — is in your hands. There are 57 entries to vote on, so we chose the three we liked best (after the jump). You can vote up until September 10, 5pm and winners will be announced September 23. We’re certain the winning apps will go public before the 2nd Avenue line.
Why we like it: It’s an augmented reality program that reads subway signs and points an arrow in the direction you’re supposed to go. It’s perfect for navigating giant, unfamiliar subway stations. Sadly, it’s currently only available in Canal Street and Grand Central at the moment, but more stations are planned.
Bus New York City
Why we like it: Taking the bus is a gamble because the current MTA bus info is woefully inadequate. This app tells you everything you need to know about every bus. It even works underground so you can figure out if it’s worth it to ditch a stalled subway for topside transport. Plus, it merged with MTA BusTime so you can know exactly when your bus is coming.
MTA-TLC (“True Lifestyle Cost”)
Why we like it: This app will tell you the estimated cost of driving a car vs. using the MTA for any route over a period of time — a great tool when starting a new job or deciding where to move. It not only figures parking and time of day, it factors in your car’s make, model and MPG. It’s also good for bragging to your car-saddled pals about the beauty (and savings) of public transportation.
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