MTA Stories December 28, 2012

New York makes real-time subway arrival data available to devs, releases free MTA Subway Time iPhone app

As noted by AllThingsD, New Yorkers will now have access to accurate arrival times for seven of the city’s subway lines as the Metropolitan Transit Agency today released a new app that provides access to the real-time train location data. Available on the App Store, the MTA Subway Time iPhone app is a test app released by the MTA for the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and S 42 Street Shuttle lines. It displays the same data as the countdown clocks inside stations, and the MTA will make the data available on its website for developers to use in third-party apps.

The app covers the 156 stations where the MTA has installed countdown clocks that provide arrival estimates in minutes for upcoming trains. This app joins MTA Bus Time™, Metro-North Train Time™, LIRR Train Time™, and MTA Bridges and Tunnels’ Travel Time in the MTA’s expanding list of real-time data tools for customers.

As for the remainder of the subway lines, The Wall Street Journal explained it could take until 2016:

The new signals were installed at a cost of more than $228 million over 11 years, the MTA said. Two other lines are already being overhauled in a way that will eventually allow real-time updates: the L line running between northern Brooklyn and Manhattan’s 14th Street, which already uses an advanced signal system; and the No. 7 line between Queens and Midtown Manhattan, which is receiving the same upgrade.

The L line should be added to the data stream that feeds Subway Time within six to 12 months, the agency said. The improvements that would add the No. 7 to smartphone apps won’t be completed until 2016.

Today, New York City Mayor Bloomberg attributed an increase in the city’s annual crime index to a rise in iPhone and iPad thefts.

MTA Stories July 30, 2012

New York State audit reveals that MTA gave Apple unfair advantage in Grand Central Store bidding

New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s latest audit suggested the Metropolitan Transportation Authority gave Apple an unfair advantage last year when the company bid for a spot in Grand Central Terminal.

According to The New York Post:

  • A fresh audit by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the MTA last May allowed the California-based tech giant to set a daunting hurdle for rival bidders to clear in a tight, 30-day window — namely, that they be willing to front $5 million in cash.
  • “The competitive process followed by MTA . . . was at a minimum severely slanted toward Apple,” reads the report, submitted to MTA officials Friday and expected to be made public today.
  • DiNapoli’s report notes that Apple had been in private talks with the MTA for more than two years leading up to the bidding process.
  • In a saucy move that was rejected by the MTA, Apple even tried to get reimbursed by taxpayers for the initial $2 million it had paid the restaurant Metrazur to vacate the balcony atop the historic commuter hub, the report found — a deal that ultimately was worth $5 million.

MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph Lhota told The New York Post that DiNapoli’s report is overtly “bias against the MTA and Apple,” and he said the audit is “not fact-based, and, accordingly, their opinion is worthless.”

“The MTA’s lease process with Apple was open, transparent and followed both the spirit and letter of the law,” Lhota contended.

Apple opened its doors in Grand Central’s last winter and pays $1.1 million in rent for 2012, which the audit noted is below market, and the company notably does not share a percentage of its sales with the MTA. It is the only retailer at the station with such a deal.

On the plus side, there is an awesome Apple Store with free Wi-Fi in Grand Central Station!

[The full audit does not appear to be online as of press time.]

MTA Stories December 10, 2011

There isn’t much here that you didn’t see yesterday but it is satisfying to see the MTA’s pride in the accomplishment, which may also be in response to concerns that Apple got a ‘sweetheart deal‘.

Update: Apple posted some choice shots to their gallery as well (below) expand full story

MTA Stories December 9, 2011

We’ve had a ton of coverage on what has become today Apple’s new flagship retail outlet. At 10am this morning, the 23,000 square foot Grand Central Terminal store finally opened doors for business and big crowds filled the concourse of the Terminal ahead of grand opening. Apple is handing out 4,000 black T-shirts with “Apple Store, Grand Central” graphic resembling a train arrival board, similar to that used as a blockade prior to the opening.

Our Seth Weintraub went to film the store and you can see him in the clip above getting out of the VIP elevator at the top, wearing a press pass (more clips after the break). Also, make sure to check out the below gallery, providing a glimpse of just how massive and breathtaking this new store is. Mind you, just the perfect scene for one of Samsung’s adverts bashing line waiters.

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See the first image in the slideshow? Yeah, that’s actor Michael J. Fox. Cool or what? We also have a Whoopi Goldberg showing and another featuring Gary Allen (a guy with the beard) who runs ifoapplestore.com, a site dedicated to Apple’s retail strides. As you recall, a couples days ago 9to5Mac got some shots from inside the store and Apple confirmed the store would indeed be open from 7am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 7pm Saturdays, and 11am to 6pm on Sundays. The store has 315 employees, two genius bars, the new 15-minute Express Workshop and also offers Personal Pickup, among other features.

expand full story

MTA Stories October 22, 2011

Spyshots of the new Grand Central Terminal Apple flagship store

Update: Training for Apple Store Grand Central employees began today at a hotel in Times Square,will end Nov 11, ahead of end of Nov opening. (thanks @iDannyOcean) In August, we had the opportunity to do a thorough walkthrough of the Grand Central Apple Store space (video above) as construction was just getting kicked off. Shortly thereafter, […]

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