Transportation 2015

June 5th–7th

  • Meals
  • T-shirt

The Event

This event will bring together technologists, community organizers, and transportation enthusiasts/experts for a weekend-long rapid prototyping session. Ideas presented and discussed at the preceding Friday night’s Community Needs Assessment provide a starting point for project ideas, but all ideas related to transportation are welcome. The only restriction is that all work done during the event must be released under an open-source license (or equivalent for non-software projects).


Register for the two parts of the hackathon separately on


Code for Philly Innovations


Friday, June 05

@ The Porch, Amtrak 30th St Station

6–9pm Community Needs Assessment

This Friday night event will be open to all Philadelphians to come discuss how technology can improve transportation in our city, generating project ideas for the Apps for Philly Transportation: Hackathon taking place over the following Saturday and Sunday.

This event will be held at the Porch just outside Amtrak’s 30th Street station catered by Beck’s Cajun Cafe. You can capture you’re experience with the food by mentioning @tastecaterphila, how you like the space by mentioning @theporchat30th and/or using the hashtag #theporchat30th and the event itself by mentioning us @codeforphilly and/or using the hashtags #transpohack2015 and #hackforchange.

Attendees will enjoy libations and light refreshments while hearing quick pitches from local organization representatives and fellow citizens about available data sets and known problems. Presented ideas will be posted along the walls and every attendee will be issued a number of “upvote” stickers to affix to their favorite ideas as they mingle around the room. New ideas can be posted by anyone at this time too.

Teams will be free to choose to work on whatever they want over the hackathon, but the posted ideas and votes they accumulate provide an easy starting point for building teams.

06:00pm Doors open, refreshments served

07:00pm Brief remarks and Keynote

Jared Hatch, Thoughtworks

Lauren Ancona, Office of Innovation and Technology, City of Philadelphia

Greg Krykewycz, DVRPC

08:00pm Project Pitches

RSVP for this free event at

Saturday, June 06

@ SEPTA building, Mezzanine (1234 Market St, 2nd fl)

09:00am Doors and registration open, breakfast and coffee served.

Walk around and look through the idea placards posted during last night’s community needs assessment and think about what you want to work on

10:30am Opening remarks

[Michael Brennan] ( Hear an overview of the event and an introduction to civic hacking and hackathons

11:00am Team formation

Hang out next to the placard for your favorite project idea and discover who shares your interest

11:30am Hacking begins!

Find a spot to setup shop with your team and get started. Visit the mentor lounge at any time if you need guidance

01:00pm Lunch served

06:00pm Dinner served

11:00pm Doors closed for the night

Get some sleep!

Sunday, June 07

@ SEPTA building, Mezzanine (1234 Market St, 2nd fl)

09:00am Doors open, breakfast and coffee served

01:00pm Lunch served

02:00pm Presentations begin

Present and/or demo your project to the judges and your co-hackers

05:00pm Doors closed

Data / Resources

We are excited to announce that we have over 25 data sets and API’s! To make things a bit easier to find we are organizing these resources at the link below.

Transportation Data Sets

Panel of Experts

  • Thomas J. Nestel III — Chief of SEPTA Transit Police, SEPTA
  • Jerry Connors — Director, Bureau of Administrative Adjudication (BAA)
  • Bill Zabrowski — Senior Director, IT/CIO, SEPTA
  • Patty Elkis — Director of Planning, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC)
  • Pam Selle — Software Developer, Comcast/Instructor, Girl Develop It (GDI)


Who is Code for Philly?

Code for Philly is an open, nonprofit group that helps people in Philly work together to solve problems and improve life through technology. Some of us are programmers or designers, others are makers or problem solvers, a handful are urbanists or journalists, but everyone is a civic hacker. We believe in the power of knowledge — orchestrated by code — to drive transformative and sustainable change in cities. We don’t wait for permission to improve our city because it’s our home to improve. Inclusive, collaborative, and creative, our members develop diverse projects that take on some of Philly’s most pressing issues.

What is a Hackathon?

Simply put, and as the name might suggest, hackathons are hacking marathons. This means that we get together for a weekend to create new projects from the ideation stage to functional (or at least semi-functional) prototypes. It’s also a great excuse to eat food, drink lots of coffee, hang out with friends and meet new people. Friday night begins with a happy hour to socialize a bit and come up with a few project ideas based on problem statements and/or available data. Project ideas are posted along the walls and every attendee gets a number of “upvote” stickers to stick to their favorites as they mingle through the projects. On Saturday morning we hit the ground running with teams self-selecting around favored project ideas from the night before. Teams then have until Sunday afternoon to prototype a solution and put together a brief presentation to present to a panel of expert judges. The judges challenge teams to defend their ideas and award available prizes to the most fitting projects, but everyone is encouraged to continue their civic hacking efforts at the weekly Code for Philly hack nights.

Who Should Come? / What if I’m not a coder?

If you’re passionate about Philadelphia, if you think democracy needs to be improved, and if you believe in the power of code to facilitate change, you should come! Civic hacking and hackathons benefit from participants of all types of backgrounds and levels of expertise. Technologists with advanced, professional skills can take the lead in project design and development. Intermediate and beginners take on tasks that support their learning and contribute to project advancement. Even those with no technological skills at all can play vital roles in researching, designing, and launching projects. Subject-matter experts are essential to the quality, sustainability, and scalability of a project. Content experts and partner organizations contribute extensive, nuanced knowledge of the subject matter; they help guide and structure a project so that it tackles key needs, creating the greatest possible impact.

What Does Hacking Transportation Mean?

For this hackathon we’re looking at transportation more broadly. Though transit is commonly familiar to city-dwellers, transportation captures the larger scope of urban travel.Code itself might have a limited ability to directly impact these issues, but code can help collect, organize, distribute, and present knowledge. The right knowledge, the right place, and the right time can change everything. Let’s bring technologists and engaged citizens together to build the tools for Philly’s 21st century transportation.

Why is it Important and Why Should I Come?

Nearly everything about how our city operates was established in an era where knowledge was moved around primarily by paper and bureaucracies — what would it look like reimagined with today’s technologies? Philly once revolutionized the world’s concept of city and we now have the opportunity to do it again. As a community, we want to show what we’re capable of doing. We have the wisdom to know what we want and the means to achieve these goals, but most important is that we are able to bring together individual talent for a collective purpose.


Flagship sponsors




Chariot Solutions

SEPTADigitalLogos Innovations

Code for Philly