The Launch of the Global Moovit University Program – Mapathon

May 28, 2017

    Improving the transit experience one campus at a time

    UM mapathon

    During the past year the Gong has reported on several university partnership initiatives in the Mexican cities of Guadalajara and Puebla. However, the Moovit University Program has not been limited to just Latin America. There has been a recent wave of joint programs in the US and Europe. This month we would like to highlight one of these Programs held at the University of Maryland in the United States.

    For Maryland Day on April 29, 2017, students from the Geography Club at the University joined forces with Moovit for a “mapathon” to add the local university shuttle to the app. This makes it easier for students to have a streamlined travel experience between public and private transit methods in their local area. To prepare for the event, the Geography Club members and faculty members participated in a training session to learn how to use the Editor. On Maryland Day the students concentrated on mapping the university’s shuttle-UM system and updating information on reduced services for the public Maryland buses during holiday breaks with a combination of information available from the Department of Transportation services and their own personal knowledge.

    A Geographic Information Systems (GIS) student, Zachary, mapped out the path and stops of the University’s Green line shuttle. He even pointed out that the process was very simple and that anyone could become involved. “(They) wouldn’t have to be a GIS Major to do it,” he told us. Zachary also said, “It was really fun working with other students to improve our transportation system here.”

    Shannon, a graduate student of International Development and Geography Club board member, said she uses public transportation often, but admits it’s frustrating to have to check more than one app if she wants to know different systems’ expected arrival times. “It would be a lot easier to just open my phone and see — OK, it’ll be 10 minutes until the university shuttle comes, or I can catch the J-4 in three minutes,” said Shannon. “[Moovit] also gives you a better understanding of where the buses pick up because it’s actually put together by community members.” she further elaborated.

    The University of Maryland Mooviter Mapathon was covered by MTV’s award winning on-campus network MTVU. Think your fellow students and teachers at school or university could benefit from a better public transport experience? Visit the Moovit Mapathons page to check out the MTVU segment and learn more.