Muni app emerges from hackathon

While San Francisco’s Information and Communication Technology Plan offers a five-year vision for embracing technologies like crowdsourcing and location-aware applications, a team of developers designed the SMART Muni app in a weekend. The iPhone app shows the location of San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (CA) buses and allows workers to spot and fix system problems. “Our goal is to make the system run more smoothly and make buses come more often,” said the team’s software developer Eden Sherry. Besides benefiting commuters, the San Francisco Chronicle writes, apps like this can help pressure government to respond more quickly to citizen needs:

Put another way: When the technology industry is flooding the market with free apps and citizens can crank out their own in 48 hours, it gets harder for government to set five-year tech timelines with a straight face. (And if they do, the plans better involve jet packs.)

The developers were participating in a hackathon sponsored by the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts as part of its Summer of Smart initiative. Link to full story in San Francisco Chronicle.

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