American Public Transportation Association to honor VIA’s GoCodeSA Codeathon Initiative

VIA Recognized with National Innovation AwardVIA Metropolitan Transit’s ongoing commitment to invest in innovation for smart transit solutions has earned a national Innovation Award from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). The award honors VIA’s GoCodeSA Codeathon, a regional coding competition for transit solutions. It will be presented at APTA’s National Conference in September.

The APTA Innovation Award recognizes a public transportation system that has demonstrated innovative concepts or effective problem-solving techniques not previously applied in the public transportation industry.  VIA’s recent smart transit initiatives include implementation of free, systemwide, high-speed Wi-Fi, introducing its VIA goMobile app, development of the VIA goCard, a reloadable smart card to be introduced later this year, and GoCodeSA, now in its second year.

GoCodeSA is a partnership with leading tech-based businesses, organizations, and entrepreneurs in San Antonio and the region. The annual event offers talented programmers, coders, and developers the opportunity to turn bright ideas into practical solutions for mobility challenges. The Codeathon competition rewards the best applications with cash and prizes, and an opportunity to integrate the winning entry into future VIA initiatives.

“Through Codeathon, VIA provides a platform for the community to directly impact their transit experience and solve real-life challenges. It incentivizes creative thinking and allows participants to contribute to a more mobile future,” VIA President/CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said. “Receiving the APTA Innovation Award affirms VIA’s commitment to invest in innovation, and integrate technology to provide transportation options that connect our community to opportunity, support economic vitality, and enhance quality of life throughout our region.”

Codeathon competitors focus on ease of access to transit information and a positive customer experience. Codeathon winners have utilized the competition to develop an integration that allows Amazon Echo users to interact with its Alexa Voice Service for trip-planning assistance.  They have also delivered an app that plans transit trips based on rider interests, such as dining, shopping, and exploring.

GoCodeSA Codetahon sponsors included Amazon Web Services, Codeup, Dell, Geekdom, IBM, Netsync Network Solutions, Trapeze, Trinity University, USAA, and others.