It’s time to do better
for Baltimore City Public School students.
And it starts with getting them to school.
Giving Baltimoreans the chance
to creatively improve transit
for Baltimore City Public School students.
Why rethink school transit?
How can we improve school transit?
Who’s getting involved?
When is this happening?
What specific issues can be addressed?
What data are available to address these challenges?
Still have questions?
WHY RETHINK SCHOOL TRANSIT?
Samuel spends 3.5 hours a day traveling from his Park Heights home to learn about cutting-edge tech at Digital Harbor High School in Federal Hill. His journey toward a brighter future is a daily race to catch a city bus, ride the escalator to the Baltimore subway, detrain in downtown Baltimore, transfer to another bus line, and then walk to Digital Harbor High School south of Federal Hill. Those hours could be spent eating a healthy breakfast, getting adequate sleep, taking more time to study, filling out college applications, or simply being a teenager. Instead, Samuel jostles for a seat or a place to stand and worries about missing the next bus. He can’t join after school clubs or linger with a mentor. Instead, like a bedraggled adult commuter, he runs to catch the #59 bus and the long, bumpy ride home. Thousands of other students face similar ordeals.
Tisha lives far from public transit, but by law the Baltimore City Public Schools must provide transportation. The schools pay for a taxi to drop her off and pick her up. Because she is an elementary student, Tisha’s mother has to accompany her. The result is two round-trip cab fares. Many such stories add up to Baltimore City Public Schools spending nearly $5 million dollars a year on taxis.
Cash-strapped schools and striving students are paying a high price in time, money, and opportunity wasted. Surely we can do better.
Hack Baltimore calls on our community to propose creative and innovative solutions to improve travel for Baltimore City Public School students. Your ideas will get more than a hearing. We will help the best ideas become a reality for Baltimore schoolchildren. The BCPS will provide seed funding and other resources as Hack Baltimore helps you transform proposals into prototypes.
HOW CAN WE IMPROVE SCHOOL TRANSIT?
On Saturday, January 10th, join transportation champions, community activists, public safety advocates, and City School students and officials as they come together for a day of brainstorming. Starting at 10am, the community will convene at Baltimore Design School to learn about the issues Baltimore City Public Schools and its students face when traveling to and from school.
Participants will brainstorm new ideas to solve these challenges, teams will form around the best ideas, and at the end of the event, Baltimore City Public School officials will choose the most promising and innovative projects for seed funding.
Selected teams will have 60 days to develop their ideas into prototypes. During that time, Hack Baltimore will connect them with support from the Baltimore business community and school system. After 8 weeks, the prototypes will be demonstrated to BCPS officials. The most promising projects will be put into effect at the start of the 2015-2016 school year.
YOU SHOULD PARTICIPATE!
All ideas and people are welcome. Anyone interested in improving transportation options, safety, and efficiency for BCPS students is invited to participate in the Smarter Schools Challenge, including:
- community activists
- public safety advocates
- transportation champions
- logistics experts
- creative thinkers of all stripes
KICK OFF – Register Here
Saturday, January 10th
10am – 4 pm
Baltimore Design School
|10 – 10:30||Welcome & Presentations on BCPS Transit|
|10:30 – 11||Coffee, Networking & Further Brainstorming|
|11 – 11:30||Pitches of Creative School Transit Ideas|
|11:30 – 3:30*||Teams Develop Ideas, Budgets & Timelines|
|3:30 – 4||Presentations & Selection of Projects for Funding|
* Working lunch will be served.
WILL WE FIX EVERYTHING IN ONE DAY?
No. But, Smarter Schools Challenge: Transit is not a one-and-done event. It is part of a longer-term approach to addressing a systemic issue. January 10th is just the beginning.
January 10 ~ February 28
Selected teams will be awarded seed funding (based on their proposed budgets) at the close of the January 10th event. From that point, teams will have 6 weeks in which to turn an idea into a minimum viable product. During this development period, teams will be offered mentorship, guidance, and resources from Baltimore City Public Schools, Hack Baltimore, and other experts.
Saturday, February 28th
Time & Location TBD
Teams will demonstrate what they developed for Baltimore City Public School officials who will then make further determinations about the practical deployment of the products for the school system, including further investment, use cases, and other logistics.