By David Capelli
Sixteen teams battled the rain and Basel traffic 35 miles north to Nova Southeastern University to make their best IoT product for the judges at the ITPalooza's AT&T Hackathon. The Hackathon featured the latest hardware, including Harman, Microsoft Azure products, and AT&T NFC sensors for competitors to build an IoT, or “Internet of Things” solution.
TECH Miami and Wyncode teamed up to tie for first place at the ITPalooza AT&T Hackathon Saturday night with their "Tap-N-Ride" public transit solution, a paperless and painless mobile payment and ticketing app designed for Miami- Dade Transit users.
Currently, Metrorail passengers have to walk up to a ticket machine, click three different screen buttons, pay, wait for an EasyTicket, walk to the gate to tap their card, then enter. For buses, lines to pay and scan easy cards take time and expect customers to have exact change in cash, an often time consuming and stressful task. Transit also currently doesn't accept EBT cards.
The idea sparked when TECH Miami founder David Capelli led an inclusive transit session at Los Angeles TranspoCamp back in October. "Public transit solutions need to eliminate opportunity costs to incentivize people to use them," explained Capelli. "Opportunity costs don't incentivize people to ditch driving. People value convenience and time over a free ride, with or without a driverless car." Tap-N-Ride saves users time and money, equalizes access to transit and provides governments a low maintenance, money saving, data driven solution to continue serving its customers in the best way possible.
Once the app is fully developed and integrated into Miami-Dade County systems, users can download it. After downloading the free app, Miami-Dade Transit riders simply take out their phone, open the app, tap their phone on the payment scanner, and ride. The app automatically charges the account on file, much like Uber's payment system.
An additional feature the Tap-N-Ride team wants to develop with Miami-Dade Transit is the first EBT transit card reader for low-income citizens. "Everyone should be able to equally access transit without sacrificing their time," professed Capelli during Tap-N-Ride's pitch. Tap-N-Ride saves low- wage- riders at least $350 a year.
Wyncode Academy graduates led the technology development of Tap-N-Ride. After moving from Chicago to Miami to attend Wyncode, Madelene Campos helped build the app as the only female developer in the room. "Women bring a unique perspective to solving problems, so I was surprised to look around and see that I was the only female developer in the room. I believe these different perspectives gave our team a bit of an edge," shared Campos, who met Capelli at The Lab Miami during SIME just four days ago. "At the end of the day, it's about solving problems," continued Campos, who "encourages more women to attend Hackathons like these."
The Wyncode team included graduates Sean Sellek, Albert Gálvez, Madelene Campos, Tim Reen and Matt Rouche. The team is looking to continue developing the MVP into a fully functioning, implementable app and system by working alongside Miami-Dade County. "Miami needs to invest in its tech talent who are solving local civic problems" shared Capelli. "We have to work together."
Wyncode Academy is located inside the Lab Miami, Miami's premier entrepreneurship community. Wyncode Academy is lead by Juha and Johanna Mikkola, is a Knight Foundation grantee and an Endeavor company. For more information, visit www.wyncode.co.