Distored photo showing detail of twenty-dollar bill

Crowdfunder wants to improve your transit trip

Sometimes it’s just the little things that make a difference — better lighting at an isolated bus stop or some shade at a sunny spot. Now, in a competition called Trick Out My Trip, individuals and groups are invited to submit proposals for creative solutions that can improve the transit experience.

Neighborhood crowdfunding platform Ioby (which stands for “in our backyards”) is partnering with the nonprofit Transit Center to solicit ideas for making public transportation improvements at the local level. Winning proposals will receive up to $4,000 in matching funds to implement their plans.

“For the most part, investment in transit comes in billions of dollars,” says Erin Barnes, executive director of Ioby. “Our focus has always been on small projects. We want to see solutions led by riders and people who actually use the services, rather than municipalities.”

The application deadline is October 6. Proposals must meet one of four criteria: (1) be a non-digital tool that improves the public transit experience; (2) focus on a single node or location, such as a train station, bus shelter, parking lot, or bikeshare dock; (3) encourage alternatives to single-occupancy cars; or (4) something else in the “spirit of the shared public transportation experiences.”

The organizers hope that encouraging everyday riders to submit ideas — rather than the service providers — will lead to greater support for public transportation. “Our goal is to reach riders rather than policymakers or practitioners,” says Barnes. “What our role in this can be is building out a larger group of people who care.” Link to full story in Next City.

Photo credit: Susan Mara Bregman

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