I want to share the following report from Code for Asheville member Tracy Schmidt on the Transportation for Seniors Hackathon on January 13. Special thanks to the other Code for Asheville members who showed up so strong: Eric Jackson, Jesse Michel, Sabrah n’haRaven, JeriBeth Stevens, and new member, Alyx Perry! Great job! Thank you. -Jim March

Meet the Geeks, Code for Asheville, and UniteWNC put a call out for members to pitch in at a Transportation for Seniors Hackathon earlier this month and 30 folks answered that call. The Hackathon resulted in five solution ideas to minimize seniors’ isolation and keep them integrated into the community.

The solution voted most promising is a web-based application that will help seniors successfully navigate transportation options by bridging currently disconnected systems (ART, Mountain Mobility, Trailblazer, Lyft/Uber, etc.) from the perspective of the individual traveler. Users can add constraints to their searches (time, money, mobility, etc), to return most accurate and usable information. The vision is to turn our current transportation options from a competing system to a cooperative collection of transportation offerings. This app would not only benefit seniors but all residents. The initial scope of this project would be for Buncombe County.

Be on the lookout for a planning meet-up on this project as we continue to research other solutions from other cities and put together a project plan and solution approach for this vision. If this project excites you and you’d like to get more involved, send an email to t4s@unitewnc.io.

Tracy Schmidt