Using new data to shape the Staten Island bus network.

MTA New York City Transit, TransitCenter and the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation will hold the first-ever New York City Bus Hackathon on March 5, 2016. Participants will use ridership and performance data to inform and improve bus route planning. This event will build upon the MTA's study of Staten Island bus service and will shape local data-centric transit planning in the future.

Participants will be tasked with developing proposals for a reconsidered network of express and local buses on Staten Island. MTA New York City Transit will provide unprecedented data sets, including ridership data for express routes and comprehensive archival performance data from BusTime for express and local routes. The best solutions for faster, more reliable transit for Staten Island will be rewarded and presented to local officials.

This event is organized in partnership with TransitCenter and the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation, and generously sponsored by TransitCenter. Additional support is provided by Google and CartoDB; technical assistance will be available from both organizations at the event.

This event is open to the public, but requires pre-registration here.

Saturday March 5, 2016
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

LMHQ, 150 Broadway, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10038 (map)

View full rules



A. The Hackathon IS open to: 

·       individuals who are at least 18 years of age as of March 5, 2016; signed up to attend the Hackathon via the NYU Rudin Center registration page and received confirmation of placement; and attended the Hackathon in-person.

·       teams of eligible individuals; teams can include up to five individuals

(the above are collectively, “Entrants”)

Each team must appoint and authorize one individual (the “Representative”) to represent, act, and enter a Submission, on their behalf. The Representative must meet the eligibility requirements above. By entering a Submission on the Site on behalf of a team, you represent and warrant that you are the Representative authorized to act on behalf of your team.

B. The Hackathon IS NOT open to: 

·       individuals who are not present in-person at the Hackathon

·       individuals who did not RSVP and sign up to attend via the NYU Rudin Center registration page, or attempted to do so after the event was full

·       organizations

·       employees, representatives and agents** of ChallengePost, TransitCenter and New York University who are involved with the design, production, paid promotion, execution, or distribution of the Hackathon, and all members of their immediate family or household*

·       any other individual involved with the design, production, promotion, execution, or distribution of the Hackathon, and each member of their immediate family or household*

·       any Judge (defined below), or individual that employs a Judge

·       any other individual or organization whose participation in the Hackathon would create, in the sole discretion of the Sponsors and/or Administrator, a real or apparent conflict of interest

*The members of an individual’s immediate family include the individual’s spouse, children and stepchildren, parents and stepparents, and siblings and stepsiblings. The members of an individual’s household include any other person that shares the same residence as the individual for at least three (3) months out of the year.

**Agents include individuals who, in creating a Submission to the Hackathon, are acting on behalf of, and at the direction of a Sponsor or the Administrator through a contractual or similar relationship.




Entrants must do the following to participate in the Hackathon:

·       Register for the Hackathon on the Hackathon Website by clicking the “Register for this hackathon” button. To complete registration, sign up to create a DevPost account, or log in with an existing DevPost account. There is no charge for creating a DevPost account. This will enable you to access the “Enter a Submission” page.

·       RSVP and sign up to attend via the NYU Rudin Center registration page. Space is limited and slots will be made available on a first come, first served basis.

·       At the event, create a proposal that helps the MTA route buses throughout Staten Island and/or optimizes express bus service between Staten Island and Manhattan.

·       Complete and enter all of the required fields on the “Enter a Submission” page of the Hackathon Website (each a “Submission”) during the Hackathon Submission Period, and follow the requirements below.

A. Language Requirements 

All Submission materials must be in English or, if not in English, the Entrant must provide an English translation of the demonstration video, map, text description, and testing instructions as well as all other materials submitted.

B. Solution Requirements

(i) What to Create: Entrants must create a visual proposal that leverages data provided at the Hackathon to develop a cost-efficient, equitable, and usable recommendation for the local and express bus systems of Staten Island (each a “Submission”).

(ii) Functionality: The Solution must be capable of being successfully incorporated into the MTA’s bus planning study for which it is intended, and must portray results true to data distributed before and during the Hackathon.

(iii) Platforms: A submitted Solution must be submitted in one of the following formats:

·       an interactive map (such as CartoDB, TransitMix or Google Map) with descriptive narrative

·       a static map with descriptive narrative

·       a presentation of data analysis, in chart, graph or other visual form, with descriptive narrative

·       other visual data display tools, including, but not limited to, physical computing objects, with descriptive narrative 

(v) Testing by Administrator, Sponsor, and Judges: Upon request, the Entrant must make the Solution and a device on which it runs available during the Hackathon, free of charge and without any restriction, for testing evaluation and use by the Sponsors, Administrator and judges.

(vi) Public Distribution: The Entrant may make the Solution available to the public via a website or online store, but is not required to do so.

(vii) Multiple Submissions: An Entrant may submit more than one Submission, however, each Submission must be unique, as determined by the Sponsors and/or the Administrator.

(viii) SDKs, APIs, & Data: Solutions may integrate data from MTA, New York City’s public data website, data provided in relation to the Hackathon, and other sources of related data, provided the Entrant is authorized to use them.

(xi) Intellectual Property: Your Submission must: (a) be your or your team’s original work product; (b) be solely owned by you or your team with no other person or entity having any right or interest in it; and (c) not violate the intellectual property rights or other rights including but not limited to copyright, trademark, patent, contract, and/or privacy rights, of any other person or entity. By entering the Hackathon you represent, warrant, and agree that your Submission meets these requirements.

(x) Financial or Preferential Support: A Solution must not have been developed, or derived from a Solution developed, with financial or preferential support from the Sponsors or Administrator. Such Solutions include, but are not limited to, those that received funding or investment for their development, were developed under contract, or received a commercial license, from the Sponsors or Administrator any time prior to the end of Hackathon Submission Period. The Sponsors, at their sole discretion, may disqualify a Solution, if awarding a prize to the Solution would create a real or apparent conflict of interest. 

C. Text Description and Image Requirements

(i) Text Description: The text description should

a. explain the features and usability of your Solution

b. describe how the Solution helps to “solve” a problem of bus planning for Staten Island that relates to the technology challenge presented at the Hackathon

(ii) Images: The image(s) should be photographs or screenshots of your working Solution. 



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John Gaul
Vice President, 21st Century Service Delivery, MTA New York City Transit

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Manasvi Menon
Senior Strategic Consultant, Intersection

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Shin-pei Tsay
Deputy Executive Director, TransitCenter

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Sarah Wyss
Senior Director, Bus Service Planning, MTA New York City Transit

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To Be Announced

Judging Criteria

  • Judging Criteria
    Submissions will be judged based on the quality of their proposals that leverage data provided at the Hackathon to develop a cost-efficient, equitable, and usable recommendation for the local and express bus systems of Staten Island.
  • Quality of idea
    - More passengers benefiting from lower wait times and/or lower travel times - Fewer passengers experience higher wait times - Increase in residents and industry/office/retail within service area - Increase in subway connectivity
  • Implementability
    - Cost neutral - Low number of passengers with negative tradeoffs - Low loss of geographic coverage - Low loss of span of service coverage
  • Cost-Effectiveness
    - Extra dollars per global passenger-minutes saved (or even dollars saved) - Extra dollars per additional resident in service area - Extra dollars per additional industry/office/retail sqft in service area
  • Equitability
    - Distribution of geographic beneficiaries, measured by # of census tracts benefiting or with negative tradeoffs - Distribution of demographic beneficiaries, measured by # of “minority or low income” census tracts benefiting or with negative tradeoffs