Management & Operations

MBTA selecting 'best' public transit app via contest

Posted on July 6, 2016


Which app most-effectively gives commuters the real-time MBTA information needed to navigate their way around the Boston region, whether they're using the subway, commuter rail, bus or ferry? The MBTA will answer that question by hosting a contest to select and officially endorse an app for real-time MBTA information.

MBTA customers take 1.3 million rides daily. Dozens of apps out there provide travelers with a variety of choices for getting information on subway, bus, commuter rail and ferry travel. The proliferation of single-purpose apps can lead to confusion and does not always meet the T's goal for a seamless customer service. A single prominent app can provide a tremendous improvement in customer experience.

The most preferred app will be selected by the MBTA, after considering public comment, and announced in September 2016. The selected app will be featured prominently on the MBTA website for a full year, and be endorsed by the T.

"Our customers are always on the go, and useful apps help connect riders to the information they need to improve their commutes," said MBTA Gm Brian Shortsleeve. "We're excited to thoroughly examine these innovative mobile tools and encourage travelers to log on and share their opinions of their favorite apps."

A public forum will be held on Aug. 12th at the State Transportation Building, where developers will showcase their apps. This event will feature a group of finalists from existing apps currently being used by the public.

Here are the kinds of features the MBTA expects a winning app to provide customers:

  •  Customizable in-app alerting
  •  Innovative means of customer feedback within app
  •  Integration with our mobile ticketing provider, Masabi
  •  Advanced data collection that continues to respect to our customer's privacy

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