Challenges

New 2019 challenges will be announced soon!

To get an idea of what Codeathon is, please check out our 2018 challenges below.

 

2018 Challenges

The following are example challenges faced by VIA Metropolitan Transit and our customers. While VIA would love to see participants tackle the listed challenges, participants are only limited to their imaginations and are free to creatively combine data sets, APIs, team skills and use cases for the Codeathon. Participants can come up with their own challenges and solutions or possibly create hybrid apps combining some of the ideas listed below – the sky is the limit!

Help VIA find solutions that may increase ridership.

Example solutions:

  • Create an app to gamify ridership that allows VIA riders to compete to be the “greenest” as they ride VIA’s new compressed natural gas bus fleet.
  • Create a system with an API that can be called by VIA’s existing fare systems to reward riders for frequent ridership. This would allow VIA vendors to use API to track and distribute fare rewards to frequent riders.
  • Create a system that would allow employers to login and setup a gamified transit rider rewards competition for their employees, allowing them to administer the system to add custom competitions and prizes.

Assist disabled users of transit with identifying safe/best pathways for travel between stops and destination.

Example solution:

  • Create an app or web site that helps users find the best and safest route between their bus stop and destination. An app such as this could leverage gamification and crowdsourcing for identifying the pathways.

Quick bus trips – give users a way to use an app or web site to identify restaurants and other businesses that are a quick bus trip away, allowing them to plan out errands or meals at lunch time or otherwise.

Example solution:

  • Create an app or mobile website that allows a user to ask, “I have $20, 1.5 hours, and want a really good hamburger and a drink. How can I do this riding a VIA bus?” This app could leverage VIA’s GTFS feeds, Yelp, Google Maps, and/or many other sources to create an easy way for transit users to grab lunch or conduct errands
  • Create an API that can be queried for quick bus trips and connect the API to existing off the shelf systems with APIs or extensions, such as Slack, Twitter, Facebook Messenger, etc.

Help riders identify buses with open bike rack or open wheelchair spaces.

Example solution:

  • Create an app which crowdsources info on wheelchair and bike rack space on VIA buses, so that riders can know if a bus has room for their bike or wheelchair.
  • Create a system of software and inexpensive hardware/IoT devices to automagically detect open/full bike racks and wheelchair positions and then pushing the data through the web or app to VIA customers.

Provide better and faster Customer Service for our riders.

Example solutions:

  • Design Automated AI based solution powered by IBM Watson to allow VIA customers to chat and get faster feedback on common questions using multiple channels, such as email, Twitter, Facebook Messenger, and more.
  • Design Automated AI based solution powered by IBM Watson to allow VIA customers to chat and get schedule data, real-time arrivals, and trip planning  using multiple channels, such as email, Twitter, Facebook Messenger, and more. This may be tied through API calls to Google Maps or other systems to facilitate trip planning and place lookups.