Hack to the future: Global showdown in Montreal

- Brussels, BE
Four people sitting at a table with laptop computers

From Cambridge to Cape Town, Santiago to Stockholm, more than 25 cities around the world are hosting transport hackathons, with the winners set to meet for a showdown at the upcoming UITP Global Public Transport Summit (15-17 May 2017) in Montréal.

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 Mr 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.

In collaboration with Supporting organisations Local hosts 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’.

About The International Association of Public Transport (UITP)UITP logo

The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) is a passionate champion of sustainable urban mobility and is the only worldwide network to bring together all public transport stakeholders and all sustainable transport modes. We have 1,400 member companies giving access to 16,000 contacts from 96 countries. Our members are public transport authorities and operators, policy decision-makers, research institutes and the public transport supply and service industry.

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