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over 3 years ago

Challenge Verticals

Challenge Vertical I: Data in Transportation

The Department of Transportation makes decisions that can have long-standing impacts on neighborhoods. A traditional means of solving traffic problems has been to look where there is congestion and widen those roads. Widening a road in a neighborhood means that the whole feel of the neighborhood gradually changes. A wider road with more traffic can lead to less small shops, pedestrians, bicyclists, affordable housing and community feel. Instead, we need to look at better ways of moving people through neighborhoods, be it by foot, bicycle, bus, ridesharing, or other modes. To find the best way to improve mobility in a neighborhood, we need to understand and facilitate how people move. For that we need data.


  • Find new ways to proactively share traffic information, e.g. an app that shows when there are events in Waikiki, or a street sign that displays congestion (using Google traffic).
  • Develop new tools to gather transportation related data, e.g. an app like Waze provides users with useful directions on how to navigate through traffic while collecting¬†data.
  • Develop apps to improve livability of neighborhoods: Find other ways to score livability of a neighborhood using e.g. housing and transportation costs, commute times, walkability.
  • Develop a design for a more efficient synchronized traffic light system based on Honolulu traffic patterns.

Tools & Inspiration

  • Data from Honolulu City and County data on traffic lights, bus utilization, commute times, etc.
  • Vinli for automated payment of parking fees, identification of and navigation to available parking spots. Vinli API: and parameters:
  • Walkability scoring:

Challenge Vertical II: Efficiency

There are many opportunities to optimize the way we get around reducing traffic, the number of cars on the road, and/or the fossil fuels we use. When we add up the cumulative effect of even small efficiency improvements, the potential impact is large. For example parking is a challenge in most large cities including Honolulu (6th worst in nation on When cars are idling, circling blocks looking for parking spots, or cars wasting space when they are not in use, there is a cost burden to the city and/or frustration for residents. There are many different ways to improve parking including maximizing under-utilized parking, car-sharing, and apps facilitating less need for parking and/or quick and effective parking. We are looking for solutions that will make our travel more efficient or reduce the amount of travel we need to do.


  • Find a way to track unused parking stalls via parking meters and municipal parking data, empty lots etc.
  • Find new smart ways to pay for parking including automated payment via car itself and Vinli API, payment via smart phone.
  • Apps for effective ride-sharing in Honolulu.
  • Planning tools to optimize the routes and times for the errands we need to run
  • Connected car apps

Tools & Inspiration

  • Data from Honolulu City and Country data on parking meters (location usage, revenue), available spots, utilization, municipal parking etc.
  • Vinli for automated payment of parking fees, identification of and navigation to available spots: Vinli API: and parameters:
  • San Francisco Parking App:
  • Taxi sharing app for events:
  • EV Charging Station app:

Challenge Vertical III: Alternate modes of travel
Many people commute every day alone in a car that weighs close to a ton, run using fossil fuels. There are many alternative modes of travel that are more energy efficient, healthier, safer, more social and sometimes even faster. Many cities have seen new solutions pop up such as taxi sharing apps, bike sharing, car sharing, and other alternatives to single occupancy cars. Honolulu is working to bring bikeshare, car share, commuter benefits and other alternative modes of transportation, but all of these modes need to be integrated, successfully managed and utilized.


  • Bikeshare is coming to Hawaii in 2016. One of the challenges they face is bicycle redistribution. When bikes are dropped off at their stations some stations become disproportionately overfilled. Help Bikeshare Hawaii find a way to solve the redistribution problem.
  • Develop apps helping people change their travel behavior to meet their travel needs, e.g. using different modes, different times, fewer or shorter trips, different routes, or sharing cars.
  • Explore ways to encourage employees using other modes of transportation, e.g., employer-based rideshare, vanpools and telework programs or apps to communicate total cost of ownership of a vehicle
  • Map connection points from rail to bus or rail to bike

Tools & Inspiration

  • Bikeshare is a transit system that enables its customers to make short trips using a network of publicly accessible bikes:
  • Story on rebalancing:
  • Story on a predictive API:

Code examples:

  • Displays for transportation options:
  • Car share companies launched or looking to launch in Honolulu: Enterprise Carshare, Car2Go, Zipcar.