Innovators come together for a hackathon to get #BengaluruMoving

Bengaluru: BengaluruMoving hackathon is being hosted by Young Leaders for Active Citizenship (YLAC), in partnership with World Resources Institute (WRI), Let Me Breathe and Directorate of Urban Land Transport, with the objective of encouraging passionate innovators to come forth with their ideas for decongesting Bengaluru city. The registration for the hackathon, which will be hosted on Skillenza platform, kickstarted in the last week of July, with August 23 being the final date to submit the concept notes. The winner of the hackathon will be presented with Rs 1 lakh and a mobility pioneer certificate.

The hackathon is part of the wider ‘Bengaluru Moving’ campaign, which is aimed at highlighting the challenges of public transport in Bengaluru and the need for better first and last mile connectivity, while championing bus lanes, non-motorised transport (NMT) solutions and investment in urban transport infrastructure.

Over the next few weeks, close to 100 teams will be participating in the hackathon to design and present solutions that will encourage and simplify the usage of public transport to address mobility woes of the city, by designing a ‘Bengaluru Connectivity Index’. The platform will use the user’s location and destination to provide all possible transport modes and allow users to choose their preferred mode of transport based on trip time, total fare, and number of transfers.

In addition to helping commuters plan their trips across the city with accurate and real-time information, the platform will collate service information from buses, metros, trains, and new mobility platforms to create a comprehensive index. This index will also help the transport agencies assess how accessible different areas of the city are by various transport modes and improve connectivity.

Talking about the importance of the hackathon, Rohit Kumar, Co-Founder, YLAC, said, “A big barrier to efficient transportation in Bengaluru is the lack of correct, real-time information for commuters. Commuters require a wide variety of information to make their travelling decisions, such as fares, transfers, and the duration of the total trip. Through the hackathon and ‘Bengaluru Connectivity Index’, we aim to address the root cause of the problem to enable mass adoption of public transport across Bengaluru.”

As part of the hackathon, the innovators are required to equip the connectivity index with a survey feature for commuters to help crowdsource this data, where commuters can fill in details about their trip (how long it took, what transport mode they used, destination, etc.) and rank different areas in Bengaluru on their accessibility, helping to build a better picture of transport connectivity in the city.

Sharing insights on this requirement, Sudeept Maiti, Senior Manager, Integrated Transport at WRI India, added, “Given the amount of data available today, there are very few commuter-facing tools and platforms that allow citizens in Bengaluru to assess the connectivity and accessibility of their home, and places of work and leisure. Understanding this is an important step to reflecting the reality on the ground and improving connectivity for everyone–across all areas and modes of transport. This gap is where we believe the Bengaluru Connectivity Index can make an impact—for citizens, neighborhoods, and transit agencies.”

To get the best minds onboard, YLAC is also exploring partnerships with mobility startups, apart from tie-ups with other organizations for data partnerships for the hackathon. In line with this, YLAC is also looking at organising webinars and mentorship sessions with domain experts to help the participants bring out robust and practical solutions.

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