Do-It-Yourself Mass Transit

3026601-poster-p-1-10-steps-to-pulling-off-a-killer-hardware-hackathon

As usual, ratpag was so busy and involved with other important matters that we missed the announcement for a Jersey City hackathon, which even Google Chrome spell check tells us is not a word, held “with the hopes of building – in one day – a public transportation guide for Jersey City and Newark that includes all bus routes, train and light rail lines and bike lanes on a single map.”

Now, as you know, ratpag is nothing if not thorough.  So we read that NJ.com article twice to see how, exactly, the hackers were to create this transit map – something that we’re sure would be of good use to the residents of both cities.  Strangely, aside from the headline and first paragraph – typically all ratpag bothers to read – there’s no mention of public transit or maps anywhere else in the article!

So we went and searched for the group hosting the event, OpenJC, and checked out their website.  This is what we would call a “big get” for OpenJC.  There’s stuff about budgets and census maps but no mention of public transit.  That’s all we’ve got.  So if you know anything about the results, please let ratpag know!  ratpag@gmail.com or @ratpag1.

So not only has Jersey City and Newark taken the “Craigslist approach” (now more than once) and sought the unpaid assistance of the public but ratpag has learned that Ohio has gotten in on the game as well.  The Ohio Department of Transportation has “launched an online survey asking for the public’s input on Ohio’s mass transit system.”

You have until June 30 to express your opinion and, so, we here at ratpag encourage all of our followers, whether you live in Ohio or even America, to express that opinion of yours over and over and over again.  Make them wish they hadn’t even asked for the public’s opinion!  Or, perhaps, make them wish they hadn’t asked for the public’s opinion and take it down one notch from that.

One thing for certain – be sure to ask that they pump more money into the criminally-underfunded mass transit budget (now at only $7.3 million per year for the entire state!  And that’s down by $3.3 million since 2011).  How the 7th most populous state, with over 11.5 million residents, could put so little into transit is beyond ratpag.  So get on the horn, ratpaggers – if you’re like us you’ve got nothing else better to do!

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