Hack My Ride: VTA’s Transportation Idea Jam will convene programmers, developers, artists, technologists, data analysts, commuters and transit users to imagine how transportation could work better in Silicon Valley.

Participants in the October 25 and 26 event at the Tech Museum of Innovation will be challenged to develop innovative software, technology, prototypes or proofs of concept that would improve the transit experience, increase transit use, or solve transportation and mobility challenges. VTA will ask participants to look at all areas of transportation, not only public transit but also walking, cycling, car sharing, paratransit, and traffic congestion more broadly.

Registration is limited and the event is full. To participate, registrants must have a ticket via http://hackmyride.eventbrite.com. If you don't have a ticket, please join the wait list on Eventbrite for a chance to be squeezed in. If that doesn't happen, don't worry. There will be other opportunities to innovate with VTA.

Suggest ideas you plan to work on or would like to see developed at http://bit.ly/hmrideas.

To help with the hacking, VTA will provide transportation data through our beta open data portal at data.vta.org. You can suggest ideas for future datasets at http://bit.ly/vtadataideas.

Saturday Oct 25

8:30 a.m.              Breakfast + Coffee + Networking

9 a.m.                    Welcome + Lightning talks + Workshops

9:30 a.m.              One-minute pitches

10 a.m.                 Collaboration + Hacking

1 p.m.                   Lunch + Networking

2 p.m.                   Collaboration + Hacking

6 p.m.                   Dinner + Networking

7 p.m.                   Collaboration + Hacking

9 p.m.                   Close

Sunday Oct 26

8:30 a.m.              Breakfast + Coffee + Networking

9 a.m.                    Welcome + One-minute pitches

9:15 a.m.              Collaboration + Hacking

noon                     Lunch + Networking

1 p.m.                   Collaboration + Hacking. Prepare presentations.              

2:30 p.m.             Submissions + Presentations due + Team presentations + Popular voting

3:30 p.m.             Judges deliberate + Networking

4:30 p.m.             Awards announcement

5:30 p.m.             Close

VTA thanks our event sponsors!

The Tech Museum of Innovation, John S. and James L. Knight FoundationCode for San Jose, City of San Jose Department of Transportation, Joint Venture Silicon Valley, SPUR San Jose, MapBox, and AmigoCloud.

Silicon Valley suffers from paralyzing gridlock. With an anticipated 2 million more people coming to the Bay Area by 2040, this is only going to get worse. People want more options other than driving. VTA is connecting with Silicon Valley’s developer community to develop an innovative, intelligent and easy-to-use transportation network that lets us focus on what we enjoy, be more productive, and connect people and ideas.

VTA seeks to expand mobility and transportation options by creating walkable, bikeable, and transit-oriented communities, expanding high quality transit service, and addressing congestion in innovative ways. VTA’s goal is to create technology that will help people shift from single-occupant vehicles to attractive alternatives that lead to a better quality of life, economic opportunity, less pollution, and lower greenhouse gas emissions.


Hack My Ride is open to:

  • Individuals who are at least 18 years of age as October 25, 2014
  • Individuals who are at least 13 years of age as of October 25, 2014, have a parent or legal guardian present throughout their participation in Hack My Ride, and have a consent form signed by a parent or legal guardian
  • Teams of eligible individuals where each team member meets the eligibility requirements for individual Contestants.

Each team shall appoint one individual (the “Representative”) to represent and act, including entering a Submission, on behalf of the team. The Representative must meet the eligibility requirements for an individual Contestant and must be authorized to enter a Submission and receive prizes on behalf of the team.

The following individuals are NOT eligible regardless of whether or not they meet the criteria set forth above:

  • Any individual involved with the design, production, promotion, execution, or distribution of Hack My Ride or Competition, including employees of the Sponsors and Administrators, and each member of any such individual’s immediate family or household
  • Any individual that employs any Judge.

 Those ineligible individuals include:

  • The members of an individual’s immediate family include such individual’s spouse, children and step-children, parents and step-parents, and siblings and step-siblings
  • The members of an individual’s household include any other person that shares the same residence as such individual for at least three (3) months out of the year.


Suggest ideas you plan to work on or would like to see developed at http://bit.ly/hmrideas.

The Hack My Ride event will reward the creators of technology that would best solve the following challenges:

A. Increase transit ridership through one or more of the following approaches:

  • Easy trip planning tools that help VTA customers get to their destinations conveniently and quickly using a variety of transportation modes
  • “Gamification” or reward-based applications that encourage increased transit use
  • Enable VTA to better understand customer needs (origins and destinations, trip times, amenities, information) so we can improve the service
  • Technology that makes transit more accessible to people with disabilities
  • Apps that spread the word about VTA’s transit service, such as through social networks
  • Technology that adds value to existing customers’ trips to improve retention
  • Apps that take advantage wearable devices and the Internet of Things
  • Apps that connect VTA customers with public art, history, open space, or entertainment

B. Help VTA build better relations with the communities it touches through listening and feedback, creating mobile or web-based technology that accomplishes one or more of the following:

  • Tap the “wisdom of the crowd” through micro-tasking or crowdsourcing, such as tools to gather data about travel patterns to help with VTA’s service planning
  • Creatively educate the community about important transportation and transit topics
  • Create informative, insightful visualizations using VTA Open Data and other datasets
  • Encourage public participation in VTA decision making by making it an easy, positive and rewarding experience

Hackathon Sponsors


$3,000 in prizes

First Place

Second Place

Third Place

Popular Choice

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

To register, prior to the Hack My Ride start time listed above, you must visit http://hackmyride.eventbrite.com, indicate your ticket type and quantity, and click “Register.” Spaces will be offered on a first come first served basis.

After submitting your registration through Eventbrite, visit http://hackmyride.challengepost.com and click “Sign Up” to create a ChallengePost account, or click “Log In” and log in with an existing ChallengePost account.

In order to register for the Hack My Ride ChallengePost website, a Contestant must also have a ticket reserved through Eventbrite. There is no charge for creating a ChallengePost account.

Contestants should review the VTA data sets and APIs available at https://data.vta.org since in order to qualify for prizes the Contestant’s submission (as defined below) must utilize at least one such data set or API.

To create a valid submission, you'll need to create a working proof of concept or prototype of a software application or a data visualization that uses at least one of the data sets or APIs available from VTA, such as those at https://data.vta.org.

During Hack My Ride, all participating members of your team need to read and agree to the Official Rules. Then, you must submit your Submission by providing:

  1. The name of the Submission
  2. A text description of the Submission and its features
  3. At least one image (screenshot) of the working Submission
  4. Participating team members (if applicable)
  5. A list of VTA and other data sets and/or APIs used in the Submission

In addition to the above, Contestants will have the option to submit the following to demonstrate their Submission:

  1. A link to a video posted on YouTube.com or Vimeo.com that demonstrates the Submission’s functionality and features
  2. A website URL where the Submission can be accessed

All parts of the Submission must be entered at the same time on Hack My Ride Website. All Submissions must be received by no later than 2 pm Pacific Standard Time on October 26, 2014.


Michael Hursh

Michael Hursh
Chief Operating Officer, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority

Ratna Amin

Ratna Amin
Transportation Policy Director, SPUR

Jonathan Noble

Jonathan Noble
Government Affairs Manager, Microsoft

Gary Miskell

Gary Miskell
Chief Information Officer, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority

Jen Padgett

Jen Padgett
CEO, Community Technology Alliance

Patty Pine

Patty Pine
Office Services Manager – North America Operations, The Millennium Group at eBay Inc.

Maryanna Rogers

Maryanna Rogers
Director of Innovation, The Tech Museum of Innovation and Lecturer, Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford

Lea King

Lea King
Executive Director, Silicon Valley Talent Partnership

Judging Criteria

  • Quality of Idea
    Includes the extent to which the Submission will improve the experience of VTA customers and travelers in Santa Clara County.
  • Implementation of Idea
    Includes how well the idea was executed by the developer, how well the Submission integrates with the VTA public data and APIs, and whether the Submission includes a mobile compatible user interface.
  • Potential Impact
    Includes the extent to which the Submission will engage and inform VTA customers and travelers in Santa Clara County in the ways described in the Criteria section of the Official Rules.

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