Hey developers, the MBTA and Boston Bikes need your help. Today the Patrick-Murray Administration and the City of Boston launched the MBTA & Boston Bikes Developers Challenge, a six-week contest enlisting developers to build apps that ease travel for MBTA and Hubway commuters, according to a press release from the MBTA. The apps will highlight connections between MBTA and Hubway stations, as well as the locations of Boston’s food trucks.
“The applications we receive from developers will leverage our real-time bus and subway feeds alongside the City’s New Balance Hubway availability data and the close proximity of Hubway stations to MBTA stations to give our customers all the information they need– on their phone,” said MBTA Acting General Manager Jonathan Davis.
The challenge comes in three parts:
Applications Challenge – Developers are asked to build a website, mobile app or software using real-time data from the MBTA and Hubway highlighting the transit connections between the two systems using the MBTA’s real-time bus, subway and commuter rail data and Hubway’s inventory data.
Visualization Challenge – This challenge asks developers to create a visualization of “A Day in the Life of the MBTA + New Balance Hubway” using MBTA historical bus location data and station inventory data from Hubway.
The BLT (Bikes, Lunch & T) Challenge – No, this challenge doesn’t involve eating BLT’s (although we wouldn’t be opposed to that). For this challenge, the City asks developers to create a website, mobile app or other software app with information about Boston’s food trucks and how to find them around town.
Each of the three challenges will have a winner, who receives a one-year CharlieCard pass, a one-year Hubway membership and two free passes to local food truck festivals. That’s huge, people. The Challenge kicks off today and runs through February 24th. For more ideas, click here.
This is the third developer challenge from the Governor’s office since the award-winning Open Data initiative was launched in 2009, providing developers with real-time bus and subway location information. Together, the initiative and contests have created over 40 apps to ease the commutes of MBTA riders. Take our word for it when we say these apps seriously come in handy on miserably rainy days like today.
We can’t wait to see what apps local developers come up with, as they’re sure to break down barriers between bikers, walkers, public transit commuters and food truck lovers. You’ll no longer have to memorize Hubway’s 60-plus stations, which will multiply when they expand to Camrbdige, Somerville and Brookline this spring. Plus, say goodbye to wandering aimlessly around the city just to get your hands on a Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese. That’s a win-win in our book.