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March 15, 2013

N.Y. MTA ‘Weekender’ app honored for design

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Weekender app, which helps subway customers avoid headaches caused by weekend track work, has been recognized for excellence in design and functionality in The Appy Awards, a nationwide app competition.

The competition is organized by MediaPost, which focuses on creativity and excellence in design of apps for mobile devices, social media, or those that are web-based. As an official event of SXSW, the annual AppyAwards honor the best mobile, social and web apps in a diverse range of categories.

MTA’s app won an Appy Award in the “Mapping/Navigation” category.

 “Weekend track work is a fact of life because we must take tracks out of service to keep them in a state of good repair, but if you use the Weekender app before you head out, you can avoid the worst of the impacts by being prepared or working around them,” said Paul J. Fleuranges, the MTA’s Senior Director of Corporate and Internal Communications. “We are pleased that our efforts have been recognized at the national level.”

The app is available for Android and iOS operating systems. More than 100,000 customers have downloaded the app to date.

Key features of the Weekender App include:

  • Service by Line: Click on a subway line symbol to get a line diagram showing an overview of the line's service changes, as well as text summaries of the changes.
  • Service by Borough: Click on a borough for text-based information about any service changes impacting a borough.
  • Service by Station: Select a station for details on any service changes impacting that station, or click on the map to zoom to a detailed area.

The map-like diagram that is the foundation for the Weekender app was created by the MTA following initial design concepts from Vignelli Associates. The diagram is designed to illustrate service diversions at a glance. It is inspired by the 1972 New York City subway map designed by world renowned map maker and designer Massimo Vignelli, and was recently updated by Vignelli, Beatriz Cifuentes and Yoshiki Waterhouse.

As with the web-based version, The Weekender for Mobile also provides the popular Neighborhood Maps that are posted inside subway stations. These maps show the precise locations of subway station entrances within the street grid, along with locations of popular area destinations.

While more than 100 apps have been developed by private app developers using open data released by the MTA, the Weekender is one of only two apps to be developed by the MTA itself. The other app is MTA Subway Time, which provides real-time arrival estimates for the numbered subway lines.

The MTA has previously developed a number of innovative web-based digital tools that increase customers’ access to real-time service-related information: MTA Bus Time, Metro-North Train Time, LIRR Train Time, MTA Drive Time, and Trip Planner+.

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