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America's bus passengers need you to show your app-titude

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Fast Lane Buses American Government Topics:  SaferBus

America's bus passengers need you to show your app-titude

Fast Lane
U.S. Department of Transportation
October 26, 2012

Safety Data Student Challenge Bus travelers SaferBus

Last week I wrote about the young winners of our aviation design challenge, the Secretary's RAISE award. And earlier this week I reminded holiday travelers, particularly college students, to use our SaferBus app to "Look Before You Book" motorcoach trips. Today, I'm putting those two ideas together and inviting America's college students to design a better way to help consumers make smart decisions when booking their bus travel.

If you are an undergraduate or graduate student with app skills, this challenge could be for you. And if you know a college or university student with an aptitude for apps, please send them to the Safety Data Student Challenge.

Here's how it works. Our Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) uses a lot of data to determine and identify unsafe bus companies. Although much of this information is available to the public, it can be overwhelming to the average traveler.

This is where you come in.

We need your fresh ideas and innovative solutions to translate our safety data and other resources into a web-based or mobile application that helps bus travelers quickly choose the safest bus available.

This is what you need to know about the challenge:

Who: Creative college students with imaginative ideas.
What: A mobile app or web-accessible tool that presents our safety information in a simple, intuitive way that would help the average person choose the safest bus available.
When: January 31st, 2013

Here's what our app looks like; we think you can do better!This is the perfect problem to solve for a fall semester course project. It's the perfect activity for winter term, whether for school or not. And it's the perfect opportunity for someone who has always wanted to dip a toe into the app-development waters but needed a good challenge to get started.

We're bringing good data; we need you to transform it into good information that people can use in real-life situations. You won't just be responding to a challenge; you'll be using your common sense, your design skills, and your programming skills to solve a real problem.

Bring your humanity and your app-titude; help passengers make better-informed decisions that lead to greater safety.

You'll learn something. You'll gain design and development experience. You'll walk away with an application that you can use as you wish. And you'll help make 2013 a safer year for America's motorcoach travelers.

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