MTA Data & APIs

MTA Developer Pages

Your submission must use at least one MTA data set or API. MTA data can be accessed at:

New Data

Make sure you check out this year's new data, including:

  • From MTA Bus Time™, historical bus locations every 30 seconds over more than three months.
  • Historical train arrival estimates at every station on the 123456L subway lines, S 42nd Street Shuttle and the Staten Island Railway every five minutes, starting Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014.
  • Newly reformatted and easier to use data on turnstile counts at each subway station.

GTFS Railroads

GTFS stands for "General Transit Feed Specification" and it was created by Google. It's the programming language that the MTA (and many other transit systems) use to feed real-data on trains (i.e. arrivals and status). The MTA’s A Division (a.k.a. the IRT lines) includes the 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 subway lines and the 42nd Street Shuttle. These lines feed GTFS data at all times.

Access to MTA real-time data feeds requires an API key.  If you have an API key, click on any requested real-time data feed link below and add your API key code to the URL.  If you do not yet have an API key, request a key here.


Beacon Technology

New this year, App Quest 3.0 will incorporate the limited use of experimental wireless beacons via Transit Wireless. After filling out the form below and agreeing to Transit Wireless’ Confidentially Agreement, developers will be given access to beacon data to create non-commercial, non-public, proof of concept applications that utilize beacons within subway stations.

The Transit Wireless beacon access is being provided by PromoBeacons and will be available for the duration of the competition (through the winners announcement in March). The use of beacon technology is not required for any prize. 

Did you miss the App Quest 3.0 Developer Day? Don't worry - you can still check out the slides for the Beacon Technical Overview.

PromoBeacons are provided by Promotional Communications, USA and powered by Nimble Devices.  Bringing the full power of beacon technology to the market for full locational, mapping, and content purposes. Complete solutions including hardware, software, sdk's, and app front-ends. 


Other Data & APIs

We encourage you to use other data sets and APIs in your app. Below are some suggestions, but you are not limited to these. Please email us or post to the Discussion Page if you know of other data or APIs we should include.

You can browse other GTFS public transit data at these sites:

Additional NY Metro transportation data sets can be found at these sites: 


Categories and Prize Requirements

Your submitted app must fall into one of the two prize categories: Accessibility Innovation or Consumer/Transit Rider Apps. In addition to the track-specific prizes, eligible apps in either track may also qualify for the Best Crowdsourcing App, Best Data Visualization App, Best Way-Finding Application for Novice Transit Riders, and Popular Choice awards.

Accessibility Innovation Category: The Accessibility Innovation Category is for Applications that include features and functionality primarily focused on assisting disabled MTA customers.

Consumer/Transit Rider Apps Category: . The Consumer/Transit Rider Category is for Applications that include features and functionality primarily focused on non-disabled MTA customers. 

Best Crowdsourcing App Award: Applications entered into either prize track may be eligible for this award. To compete for this award, your app should demonstrate the ability to use crowdsourced data to track and broadcast up-to-date real time information on MTA service. For example, Applications could provide riders with real-time train data based on crowd-sourced location services as cellular service continues to become more available in MTA subway stations.

Best Data Visualization App Award: Applications entered into either prize track may be eligible for this award. To compete for this award, your app should use MTA data to create visualizations and predictive modeling based on real-time and/or historical data.

Best Way-Finding Application for Novice Transit Riders Award: Applications entered into either prize track may be eligible for this award. To compete for this award, your app should include features to assist novice transit riders in navigating the transit system.


Additional App Ideas

Not sure what your app should address? Here are a few thoughts to get you going!

  • Multimodal Travel Using MTA Services: Applications and sites that demonstrate novel, customer-facing uses of the MTA's real-time APIs, schedules, and rider alerts to successfully empower trip planning, leveraging MTA APIs, routes and schedules in new ways. For example, solutions that aggregate MTA real-time data and service notifications with schedules and routes for multimodal transit, e.g. subway to bus to LIRR to Metro-North to ferries, etc.
  • Multimodal Travel Outside of MTA Services: Applications and sites that integrate MTA-based transit information with other transit needs of its riders, particularly in the areas of paratransit (people with disabilities) and transportation alternatives such as the NYC Bike Share program.
  • Personal / Social App Integration: Applications that integrate MTA routes, schedules, and real-time feeds into the personal / social space. For example, applications that link MTA ridership into personal time-efficiency and productivity applications (e.g. meeting calendars, etc.); that improve MTA riderawareness around energy and environmental literacy, (e.g. how to reduce carbon footprint through mass transit); and that enable the tracking of personal trip data and MetroCard / ticket usage and expenses.
  • Wayfinding: Customer-facing applications and sites that find new ways to visualize wayfinding and trip planning, and that visualize MTA multimodal real-time data in new ways. For example, applications that improve subway and rail station wayfinding based on public data (e.g. where to stand on a platform to exit at a specific intersection upon arrival, etc.).
  • Accessibility: Customer-facing applications that empower specific disability groups as valued members of the MTA ridership (e.g. verbal instruction applications for station wayfinding).


More Questions?

If you have questions about the MTA data or APIs, check out the MTA Developers Google Group. For questions about the MTA AT&T App Quest 3.0 Challenge, email