The ‘hackathon,’ a new initiative from the UITP (International Association of Public Transport) foundation Youth For Public Transport (Y4PT), is bringing together computer programmers, designers, developers and more to collaborate on innovative and sustainable solutions to transport problems. Winners from each local hackathon will then compete in the inaugural Y4PT Global Transport Hackathon at the UITP Global Public Transport Summit.
The Hackathon is part of UITP’s brand new InnovHub concept to be launched at the Summit. The initiative gathers some of the most remarkable projects and bright ideas from UITP with its members fostering innovation in public transport, englobing various innovative activities and projects at the Summit, from the Hackathon to the UITP Awards and more.
Local hackathons began in late 2016 and will continue for the next two months. Winning ideas so far range from air-quality sensors, to bus loyalty programmes and apps encouraging healthy mobility.
Winner of the Cambridge, UK hackathon, J.S. Canavera-Herrera, wanted to address traffic congestion, a serious problem in his city. The solution? An app encouraging public transport and walking through an interactive reward scheme.
“The future of transport must be cleaner, inclusive, comfortable, affordable but especially attractive. If people do not feel attracted to use public transport, we will not solve any of our current transport problems,” said Canavera-Herrera.
According to the World Health Organisation, air pollution is the world’s most serious environmental health risk and Team AIR², winners of the Brescia, Italy hackathon, sought to address this. Their innovative app is connected to sensors measuring air quality around Brescia and can “provide a better quality of life by suggesting less polluted places and routes,” noted Massimo Santi, who will represent the winning team in Montréal. The data collected can also be used by public officials for more sustainable policy solutions.
Healthy mobility will be a central theme of the Global Transport Hackathon in Montréal. Representatives of winning regional teams will come together at the UITP Summit to turn their inventive ideas into tangible products, competing to develop the ‘world’s best ground-breaking transport solution’