Tiffany Chu: The Designer Transforming Transit Planning Through Tech – May 17, 2016 Curbed article

Photo is from May 17, 2016 Curbed article described at this post. Carlos Chavarria photo

Photo is from May 17, 2016 Curbed article described at this post. Carlos Chavarria photo; click on photo to enlarge it.

A May 17, 2016 Curbed article, which I read with much interest, is entitled: “Tiffany Chu: The Designer Transforming Transit Planning Through Tech: With the creation of her program Remix, Chu changes the game for transit planners”

The opening paragraphs read:

Roughly two years ago, San Francisco-based designer Tiffany Chu lived through the dream scenario for aspiring developers and programmers. After months of work hacking together different programs and slogging through code changes, she and a small team of friends set their ambitious demo program live. On a whim, someone tweeted a link to a few friends. Less than 24 hours later, their project was splashed across the homepages of a dozen tech publications, including Gizmodo and TechCrunch. A write-up on the BBC’s website soon followed.

A few days later, hundreds of emails started arriving from overjoyed users. “This is amazing.” “I want to partner with you.” She said they received literal love letters: “I love what you’re building.”

What indispensable tool had Chu and her colleagues created? A simple drag-and-drop map to plan bus routes.

While the Remix program, initially called Transitmix, may seem like a boring version of SimCity, it was a revelation for the city planners and officials who, having spent decades hand-drawing routes on paper printouts, were its target audience. The program draws from numerous open-source libraries, maps, and data sets to create a seamless view of new transportation options, noting the demographic data and cost of potential pathways.

The program’s singular focus and outpouring of support not only gave the side project enough momentum to become a 20-person startup, but suggests a deep public fascination with transportation and our cities, and technology’s role in helping fix a shared source of frustration.

“There’s a whole set of opportunities to show the tradeoffs and benefits of different transportation options, and help city officials be better planners,” says Chu. “We’re just starting with transportation. There are so many ways technology can empower city planners.”

[End of excerpt]


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