Staten Island-compressed Photo: Metropolitan Transit Authority/Flickr

Travellers on MTA-operated busses in New York routinely report problems like unreliable service, overcrowding and even reckless drivers.

The MTA hopes to address some of its issues using technology and “people power.” Together with Transit Center and the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation, the MTA is sponsoring the first-ever New York City Bus Hackathon on March 5th, from 9am to 5pm at the Rudin Center at 295 Lafayette Street in Manhattan.

Participants will work to develop proposals for “a reconsidered network of express and local buses” on Staten Island, using comprehensive archival performance and ridership data to create better routes. The MTA has already been holding workshops with Staten Island riders in an effort to re-envision its fleet of 31 local and 20 express routes.

“The hackathon is an invitation for feedback from our tech-savvy customers as well as an opportunity for New York City Transit to further use innovation and technology to provide our customers with better service,” said Darryl Irick, president of the MTA Bus Company, as reported by Staten Island Live.

The event has the potential to influence more city-wide data-centric transit planning, and tech companies are joining the effort. Additional support for the event is provided by Google and CartoDB, both of which will provide on-site assistance to participants. BuzzBuzzHome News recently reported on CartoDB’s insights about NYC noise complaints.

The event is open to the public, but organizers require pre-registration by February 20th.

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