The City Mapper app

Most New Yorkers know how to navigate the subway system, but even the most seasoned straphanger has been thrown for a loop once or twice. To make trips easier for riders (and to deal with less complaints themselves), the MTA launched a competition for programmers from around the world to develop smartphone apps to help people get around more easily. The winners of the MTA and AT&T’s 2013 App Quest contest were announced yesterday – read on to see which new apps you can download now to make your commute go more smoothly.

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The City Mapper App

All of the winning smartphone apps were the result of a weekend-day hackathon originally held in May. The competition drew in a whopping 49 entries from programmers from as far as Australia, Israel, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. Yesterday, AT&T and the Metropolitan Transit Authority named the 2013 App Quest Winners and gave away a grand total of $40,000 in cash prizes.

City Mapper, a London-based developer, won the top $20,000 prize. The self-titled City Mapper app lets you map out your entire journey while pulling live data from the subway, bus, and even bike share programs like Citi Bike to help.

The $10,000 second place prize went to an equally innovative program called SubCulture.FM, which allows straphangers to locate their favorite subway musicians with special QR codes. Commuters too busy to stop and hear a catchy tune can use the app to identify the artist and keep track of what stops they are currently playing at. It’s a bit like a concert tour tracking app except it’s for underground subway artists.

Finally, the Transit app won the third place $5,000 prize for using real time data to inform commuters of when the next train or bus will be arriving. Moovit, an app that lets you check the current transit schedule and gripe about it with other pedestrians, won the audience favorite award.

Let’s get a round of applause for the app winners and be sure to check them out and download these mobile programs today.

+ City Mapper

+ SubCulture.FM

+ Transit app

+ Moovit

Images © 2013 App Quest