Prizes will be awarded to the top two projects for each of the categories. There will also be additional sponsor prizes that will be awarded in various categories. That means more prizes and more winners! Over $10,000 in prizes will be given out at the event. More details coming soon in regards to prize amounts for each challenge and additional sponsor prize categories.


Each category will have specific judging criteria. Judges scoring category breakdowns will be posted soon.

Challenge Interest

These counts indicate the number of teams that have indicated interest in a certain challenge. Use these numbers to help you decide on which challenge you might like to register for. A higher number means more competition in that category. You will have to indicate which challenge your team would like to be judged on during registration on Friday February 22.

Challenge #1

Challenge #2

Challenge #3

Challenge #4

2019 Challenges

#1 – VIA Quick Trip Web App Conversion And Enhancement

Using the existing iOS VIA Quick Trip (Codeathon 2018) swift code as a template and starting point, rewrite using new code into a responsive web app. Bonus points for new and enhanced features.
Functional Requirements: 
  • Allow a user to search for food, drink, and nearby attractions using the same categories as in the current app.
  • Allow a user to indicate whether a round trip is needed, and if so must request that a time be specified.
  • Using the parameters above, find suitable nearby places.
  • Provide a trip time estimate and route summary using transit.
  • Allow the user to open their trip in a map application.
  • The app must be both desktop and mobile friendly.
Technical Requirements:
Suggested Enhancements:
Find a clever way to fill the search/loading time after searching for locations.
Implement a notifications system for when it is time to leave for each journey leg.
Allow a user to prioritize trip results by travel time, rating, or other categories.


#2 – Build Customer Feedback Chat-bot Functionality for VIA’s Existing Chat-bot

Develop a chat-bot flow that will allow a rider to submit reports, complaints, compliments, and other feedback.
Functional Requirements: 
  • The rider must be able to enter information that is then cataloged in a way that is useful to VIA customer support staff.
  • The bot must be able to categorize the conversation into the below categories and collect the corresponding information for that category.
  • Collect rider contact information (First Name, Last Name, Mobile #, email, etc)
  • The bot must be able to collect the following:
    • Commendations
      • Required – First Name, Last Name, Phone or email, comment
    • Maintenance Requests
      • Required – Location, location type (stop, bus, transit center), Time, Issue
    • Bus Issues
      • Required – First Name, Last Name, Phone or email, Route #
      • Optional – Vehicle Number, Operator Name/ID
    • Driver Issues
      • Required – First Name, Last Name, Phone or email, Route #, Operator name/ID, Issue
      • Optional – Vehicle Number
    • General Complaints
      • Required – First Name, Last Name, Phone or email, comment
  • Create a way to display the results of the conversations in a easy to read format for VIA customer support use.
Technical Requirements:
The bot must be built on the Progress NativeChat framework. (
The bot can also use Progress Kinvey to support the bot (
Suggested Enhancements:
Allow a user to submit photos.
Allow a user to indicate their location on a map.
Allow VIA to query users for information through the chat interaction.
Allow a VIA representative to take over for bot and respond in real time.
Create a way for the chatbot to learn on its own.


#3 – Augmented Reality Project

Develop an application that will allow a user to gain additional insight into VIA’s bus system by using augmented reality.
Functional Requirements:
This challenge is a bit more open ended, there are no specific requirements.
Technical Requirements:
There are no specific technical requirements. Please follow VIA Application Coding Standards where applicable.
Potential Uses:
Give a user next bus arrivals when they hold their camera up to a bus stop flag. Every bus sop has a number assigned and printed on the sign.
Give a user additional information about VIA infrastructure with image recognition.
Put a virtual trip plan path on the ground when viewing the screen on a mobile device.


#4 – Open Innovation Challenge

Do you have a really good idea that doesn’t fit into the other challenges? Showcase your idea in the Open Innovation Challenge.
Technical Requirements:
There are no specific technical requirements. Please follow VIA Application Coding Standards where applicable.
Potential Ideas (not required, just suggestions):
Create an app that lets you find food trucks on a map and shows you what bus route you take to get there.
If I get on route X, what attractions are along the way.
I have X minutes and want to do something, what bus will take me somewhere fun.
Plan me a round trip that takes me to several locations and helps me plan out my entire day of transit.
Think of ways to use transit that aren’t simple A to B trips, but rather ways to explore using transit.