City's Big Apps Contest Unlooses Public Data, But MTA Not On Board

latetrainshirt.jpgYou may recall that the Times reported the MTA was easing its grip on public information -- dropping their legal demands on the developer of the StationStops iPhone app and others who had been using their train schedules in technology -- and suggested that political pressure was part of the reason. The city in general has been encouraging the use of public info by developers, and MTA was portrayed as sensitive to being left behind.

Now the Times reports that the city has enetered a new phase of its BigApps competition for developers using public info, but adds in passing a curious fact:

"The contest will not include information like subway schedules from the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority, as the city doesn't have jurisdiction over that data. Instead, the organizers said, they will include data from the Department of Transportation."

Did the Mayor's office ask the MTA if they wanted to get on board, and get turned down? Or did the city just figure they'd bypass the MTA and use the DOT info instead? In either case it sounds like somebody doesn't think the MTA is ready to unloose its grip on info yet.

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