- WEB STARTUPS
- WEB JOBS
- ALL TOPICS
If you asked me what’s the thing I miss most about NYC, my answer would be simple: my subways and buses (knishes and Crumbs cupcakes 2nd). I (sadly I know) still monitor the happenings in the MTA-run transit system from a far. It’s been awesome to watch how technology is finally being embraced, welcomed and integrated across the system.
Today the MTA announced the launch of a developer app contest named MTA App Quest. Cash prizes will be awarded up to $5,000 for the grand prize. The submission period begins today and runs through September 26.
I’ve always been against texting while driving, videotaping while driving or talking on your mobile device without a hands-free headset while driving. It makes me angry when I see videos on YouTube where a driver is holding a camera and videotaping themselves while driving (many times at high speeds on the highway). As Judge Judy says, it’s one thing if you want to take your own life, but when you are reckless you put so many others in the path of potential harm. It’s too bad that local police agencies don’t go after those who post their videos on YouTube showing off their “oh so important” video they just had to create while driving.
If you think driving your car while filming a video is not appropriate, what about a city bus driver driving a bus down a busy street using his elbows while operating two cellular phones? The bus driver is operating the bus in Rome and appears to be talking on one cell phone while setting up email and other online accounts on the second phone.
Here’s hoping the bus operator was able to get out that important tweet, check-in to his bus, Like his bus, or tip his important update. Those things are certainly more important than passenger safety and the safety of those around the bus.
Here’s the video from the incident — I am unable to confirm whether the driver has only been suspended or whether he has been fired.
Continue reading “Italian Bus Driver Suspended After Driving Bus With Elbows While Hands on Two Cellphones (video)” »
The New York City MTA (that’s the group that runs the subway and buses among other transit functions) has announced the upcoming launch of the first NYC transit MTA App Center. The App Center will operate in a similar fashion to the Apple App Store and is described as a way, “to showcase the great apps you have built for MTA customers and make them easier to locate.”
If you want to be included in the launch of the App Center, you need to submit your info by Friday April 29, 2011. If you miss this initial launch round, your submission will be included in a future App Center update.
To learn more about the MTA developer programs, check out their developer website.
By now ya’all know that I love public transportation. One of the areas I like in the tech area regarding public transportation is watching all of the map mashups that have been launched over the past couple of years. I’ve written about the BusTime testing in NYC, the live London train map and the real-time Swiss train mashup. Four years ago I wrote about how tourists should consider taking the bus – it’s often overlooked in cities that offer a subway system.
Today I’ve learned about a new Google Maps mashup using bus data from the TFL in London. It’s called the London BusMapper and the developers describe the service as, “Can’t figure out which bus to take in London?Click on 2 points on the map and we’ll tell you!”
It’s really that easy to use the London BusMapper – just click on any two points in London on the map and it will show you all of the routes that get you from point A to point B. What’s really neat is that it shows you routes that start and end near your location so you can make the choice that works best overall.
The London BusMapper was developed by Mattias, Azmat and Ben Dowling. The team is actively encouraging suggestions on what features to build into the London BusMapper. So far the most popular suggestions include: creating a mobile version, time per route option, and to make sure the system takes into account any diversions for construction, etc.
Last April I reported that the New York City transit agency (that’s the MTA) launched a pilot program on the M16 and M34 bus lines which run up and down 34th street in Manhattan. The program is called BusTime and allows you to watch the buses move up and down 34th street online. You can also view estimated bus arrival times and get updates via text message.
It’s a really awesome technology because it could mean additional time at home and/or not waiting outside in the snow or rain for a bus that might be 20 minutes away. I would have loved BusTime on the horrible M50 route when I lived in Manhattan.
Today the MTA is launching the BusTime system on the first test line in Brooklyn, the B63. This line runs from Fort Hamilton to Cobble Hill. The B63 BusTime website still shows a “coming soon” message so I guess the arrival is late.
I can’t wait for the day that the BusTime system is available system-wide. Just imagine the fun watching the live map of all of the buses moving around the city!
Earlier today I posted our weekly job openings from the CN Job Board. There’s been some discussion about a couple of job openings at the NYC MTA (that’s the transit authority) that I thought were worth highlighting. I’d be all over the Sr. Manager role if I wasn’t working at CloudContacts currently.
With the MTA investing heavily in technology and their new commitment to working with web developers, both of these positions should see great visibility — both inside the MTA and within the NYC tech community.
Here are direct links to both positions – sadly the employment section of the MTA site is not easy to link to or browse so use these links to get to the jobs directly.
- Sr. Manager, Internet Communications & Technologies
- Senior Web Developer
Summary of the Sr. Manager position:
This position creates and implements long-term strategy for all internet communications between the MTA and the public as well as within MTA Operating Agencies. Will drive front-end web development while keeping abreast of all new technologies to determine their usefulness and appropriateness in serving both the public users of the MTA website and the MTA itself.
Provides oversight for all MTA internet, intranet, and mobile website initiatives, social media, paid internet advertising, and internal and external email communications, creating and ensuring implementation of standards for information architecture, content and graphic presentation.
In the movie Minority Report, Tom Cruise walked by several advertising panels in a mall that changed and talked directly to him. Many wondered when ads like this would start to appear in real life and not in a movie.
A subway station in Berlin will create a new advertising experience beginning on July 8, 2010. Berlin U-Bahnhof Friedrichstraße station will feature all digital advertising – something many stations around the world offer in limited-use. The station will be fitted with a number of digital advertising panels and two Bluespot terminals on the platform. Passengers will be able to interact with the Bluespot terminals.
Intel will provide the first advertisements on the new panels and interactive displays.