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Developers App image MassDOT today announced the MassDOT Developers Real-Time Challenge.  The Challenge calls on developers to create both software applications and physical installations using a real-time feed of MBTA bus locations and arrival predictions with the goal of making this information available anywhere, anytime.  The challenge has two categories, with a $500 cash prize for the winner in each and recognition at a March event.

•    Software Applications Challenge: This challenge calls on developers to create applications using the MBTA Real-Time XML Trial Feed accessible through the internet, mobile phones, land-line phones, text messages, software applications and any widely accessible software platform.  Examples include: smartphone applications, web applications, websites, computer applications, SMS services, and phone-based IVR systems.

•    Physical Installation Challenge: This challenge calls on developers to create physical installations making information from the MBTA Real-Time XML Trial Feed accessible in public locations.  These solutions must be installed along at least one of the five MBTA Routes for which the feed is available on non-MBTA property.  Examples include: LED countdown signs in businesses or other locations along the route, LCD countdown signs in businesses or other locations along the routes, bus arrival indicators, physical signs informing users of the existence of real-time data through the phone or on the web, or the inclusion of the MBTA real-time bus information in existing installations along the MBTA Bus routes. Rules and FAQ are here.

The Challenge begins today, and applications and installations can be submitted through March 19, 2010.

The challenge requires that developers use real-time information provided through the MassDOT Developers page.  Pilot MBTA bus routes with real-time information included bus route 39, which serves Jamaica Plain, the Longwood Medical Area and Back Bay in Boston; and bus routes 111, 114, 116 and 117, which serve Haymarket Station, East Boston, Chelsea and Revere.  Access the feed here.

The Real-Time Challenge builds on MassDOT’s 2009 Developer Challenge and Conference which spurred the creation of more than six applications using the MBTA’s trip planning data.   Together, the efforts further MassDOT's historic step toward openness and transparency through creation of the MassDOT Developers Page in the summer of 2009. 

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