A hackathon to solve the riddle of school bus rides
Boston school authorities have launched two public hackathons to help them solve the puzzle of scheduling the city’s school bus routes and class-times.
With 56,000 students at 125 schools, the permutations are enormous. Add the fact that transportation costs now eat up 11% of Boston’s annual school budget, and that bus services for the different school start times have become unbalanced, and it’s clear to see why some fresh thinking is needed.
To try and provide that, the Boston Public Schools authority has set two distinct challenges for the tech community.
One is a month-long hackathon to create a tool that would chart the most efficient bus routes, and the other, lasting two months, is to optimize the services for school starts – 7.30 a.m., 8.30 a.m. and 9.30 a.m. While it is not feasible to change the three start times, the bus services could be better at serving them. By turning to hackathons, BPS wants to be less top-down and more open to the local community in solving its problems.