Problem Statements:

Many Detroit residents depend on public transit, but they often have limited options for traveling to work, school, and other activities, or for getting there safely.

Your mission: build apps that help provide access to safe, efficient, reliable transit for all Detroit residents so they can get to their school, work, and other activities securely and on time.

Some of the issues facing Detroit commuters include:

  • Long wait times that require access to safe and comfortable waiting areas
  • Security cameras on some, but not all, buses
  • Bus drivers don’t always let people out at their desired stop and don’t always stop for commuters at a bus stop
  • Schedules aren’t reliable and commuters risk arriving late to school or work, even after allowing ample travel time

Below are a few ideas for apps that address these problems. These are meant to kick-start your brainstorming, but this is by no means an exhaustive list. We welcome your ideas and solutions!

You might build an app that:
  • Helps commuters find safe shelter while waiting for a bus
  • Fosters a good relationship between commuters and public transit operators
  • Identifies alternatives to public transit (biking, ridesharing, walking)
  • Helps commuters plan for inclement weather
  • Identifies areas that are conducive to safe waiting
  • Leverages crowd-sourced data on transit delays, finding locations that are conducive to being safe waiting areas, and travel alternatives
  • Has a “call for help” or 911 button for contacting authorities quickly without showing that you're on a device
  • Allows users to turn on and off tracking when they're using public transit, so friends and family can keep an eye on them
  • Allows riders to get information directly from public transit authorities about changes in travel time, delays, etc., or that allows riders to share feedback with transit systems (DDOT,SMART, People Mover, etc.)
  • Helps identify travel buddies
  • Rewards transit operators for courteous, consistent service
  • Helps schools and public / private transit systems work together to help Detroit kids get to class on time.


Make sure to check out the Resources tab to view the datasets and more information.