Got apps? Reminder to attend tonight’s Developer Challenge Kick-off event

Metro Developer Challenge

Last week we told you about Metro’s Developer Challenge – your opportunity to create the next great transit app with Metro’s open data and possibly win $2,000.

Tonight we’re throwing a kick-off and Q&A event to get all app developer hopefuls up to speed on the specifics of the contest and get the ball rolling. There will be a presentation and the data providers will be there to answer your questions . The event gets underway tonight at 6pm at Metro Headquarters.

If you  can’t make it, the event will also be streamed live on uStream and WebEx (WebEx password: kick-off).

On a personal note I really hope developers out there jump at this opportunity. Metro offers mounds of data relating to its transit services – including the long awaited realtime bus arrival data – but L.A. still lacks great transit apps when compared to other cities. Portland in particular is a much smaller city that has a wealth of home-grown third party transit apps (I counted 39), and many of them are really great (I’ve found the feature set of PDX Bus to be impressively robust).

The way I see it, this isn’t just a challenge to create some great transit apps, it’s a chance to prove that Angelenos have brains in addition to beauty, and that we can app with the best of them.

1 reply

  1. One important part of designing an app is to collect market data at the same time so it can be used to analyze key data.

    You want to create a transit app, make sure it collects info that can be shared with Metro so it collects anonymous data like “what point and what time are the most busiest” or “how many passengers make transfers at which location.” These data can be used to better coordinate timings of buses and rails at key places and times so it makes for a more efficient and seamless flow of public transit.

    This is how the JR system ties in seamlessly with all the buses, private rail and subways in Tokyo. Market research is collected through the Suica card (which is embedded within cell phones), analysts see the flow of people making transfers and then rails are coordinated so instead of having a 10 minute wait for the train transfer, the wait time is less than a minute, especially at the busiest commuting times.