The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is embarking on a new strategic technology initiative that invites the Atlanta tech community to help create the next great thing in Atlanta transit. Over the course of the next year, MARTA is partnering with Sandbox ATL, Code for Atlanta, HackGT, and other community groups through a series of three 24-hour hackathons, semi-monthly work group sessions, and continual online interaction. It begins with the first MARTA Hackathon on October 28-29th at The Garage under Tech Square, the home of Sandbox ATL.
Each of the three hackathons will offer the community the chance to create solutions for specific MARTA technology challenges using a combination of emerging technologies and open data sets. “We’re looking forward to tapping into the creative and innovative minds in Atlanta’s tech community,” said Ming Hsi, MARTA’s Chief Information Officer. “Our goal is to stay on the cutting edge of amenities we offer our customers, and this Hackathon gives us an opportunity to see what’s out there and how we can use that knowledge to provide better transit services.” After each hackathon, teams and newcomers will have the opportunity to develop their ideas further through a series of semi-monthly in-person work sessions and get plugged into the burgeoning civic tech community led by Code for Atlanta. HackGT is helping to promote and assemble the city’s world class college talent to be part of this endeavor as well.
In parallel to these efforts, MARTA and its partners will share lessons learned and achievements unlocked in an open, transparent way that helps to grow the number of people engaged in this initiative, attract new funding and technology partners, and ultimately create a world-class transit system experience for all Atlantans and visitors. “MARTA is an important part of the city’s future and Sandbox is uniquely positioned to help MARTA build stronger relationships at the heart of Atlanta’s tech scene here in Tech Square, as well as with all our friends across the city’s growing network of tech hubs,” shared Scott Henderson, CEO of Sandbox Communities, which operates Sandbox ATL.
Open to the entire community – regardless of your technology orientation.
Whether you love to code, have a passion for design, can herd cats, or just want to help out somehow, MARTA would love for you to be part of this exciting 24-hour challenge to create solutions to real world problems. You’ll be among the first to get your hands on robust ridership data and work directly with people and organizations from across Metro Atlanta to solve the problems they face in their daily transit adventures. “Code for Atlanta is thrilled to partner with MARTA on this event. Most exciting is that MARTA is making a serious, meaningful effort to provide high-value open data to the hackathon participants. We hope that the example MARTA is setting will inspire more government agencies in the metro Atlanta region to open up their data says Luigi Ray-Montanez, co-organizer of Code for Atlanta.
Join the hackathon for just a few hours or come along for the entire ride! Participants will gather the first night to form teams and then work like busy bees to present their prototype solutions to a panel of esteemed judges from the community.
The MARTA Hackathon series is a yearlong strategic technology initiative led by MARTA, Sandbox ATL, Code for Atlanta, HackGT, and other community groups to help create the next great thing in Atlanta transit. This is the first of three 24-hour hackathons, semi-monthly work group sessions, and continual online interactions to create new ideas to increase ridership and improve the rider experience.