Event Recap: The Wisdom of Transportation Crowds

Last night’s panel, The Wisdom of Transportation Crowds, showed us the power of large groups in improving transportation through participation, advocacy, and funding. Our esteemed panelists taught us a few lessons:

Robin Lester Kenton, of NYC Department of Transportation, showed us that the crowds don’t always come up with the best solution; but with 10,000 bike share location requests on the web portal, plus nearly 400 community meetings, numerous key and popular locations emerged for New York’s forthcoming landmark system.

Jeff Maki, of OpenPlans, discussed the role of the “third sector” – between public and private – to create solutions, particularly their forthcoming Kickstarter-funded iPhone app, JoyRide, which uses combinations of official data and user input to create trip planners across modes.

John Raskin, of Riders Alliance, posed the notion that an alternate sector exists for communities interested in making incremental transit improvements, even when reforming the entire transit system is overwhelming.

All panelists agreed that when people were shown their direct benefit from crowdsourcing their efforts and funds, they were more likely to participate. And it seems that the third sector is emerging as the best place for innovation and collaborative wisdom for transportation improvements.

Thanks to all who attended and participated, and we hope to see you at our two upcoming events, Social Media, Transportation and Hurricane Sandy and Short Talks, Big Ideas: Innovations in Transportation.

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