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PhD student Juan Canavera Herrera wins First Prize again at Transport Hackathon in Montreal.

last modified May 26, 2017 04:15 PM

Congratulations to FIBE PhD student Juan Sebastian Canavera Herrera who is clearly on a winning streak. In February, Juan and his team won the Transport Hackathon organised by CUTEC - Cambridge University Technology and Enterprise Club. Part of his prize is to travel to Canada and participate in the global showdown in the 1st Y4PT Global Transport Hackathon in Montreal.

And Juan’s team won First Prize in the Montreal Hackathon!

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The Hackathon is part of  an initiative from UITP (International Association of Public Transport) Foundation Youth For Public Transport (Y4PT) to bring together bright ideas from computer programmers, designers and developers from around the world to foster innovation in public transport. It pitted bright minds from 25 cities around the world and featured innovative projects and ideas from bus loyalty programms to air-quality sensors to apps encouraging healthy mobility.

UITP estimates that “it would save around 170m tons of oil and 550m tons of CO2 equivalent; reduce urban traffic fatalities by 15%; double the number of jobs in public transport operators as well as reduce the risk of obesity and heart disease by 50% thanks to the greater role of walking, cycling and public transport.”

In Cambridge where traffic congestion is an issue and can cost motorists an average of £834 a year, Juan believes public transport is key. He says, “Public transport plays an important role in my life, in Cambridge and in my home city, Bogotá, Colombia. It is my preferred way to move around the city, and for me, the time I spend using public transport is when I reflect on my day and my life. The future of transport must be cleaner, inclusive, comfortable, affordable but especially attractive. If people do not feel attracted to use public transport, we will not solve any of our current transport problems.”

In Montreal, Juan and Domna-Maria Kaimaki, the original Cambridge winning   Juan250x250.jpg team, joined forces with Hackathon winners from 5 other countries to form Team Ditch. (As in ditch your car!) Their innovation-worthy, winning idea was to build an app to encourage public transport and promote exercise like walking. The app has a dynamic interface showing alternative transport options that are linked to an interactive reward scheme. With the opportunity to pitch their apps to transport entrepreneurs and channel their enterprising ideas into actual products, it is hoped that the winning teams will be able to offer ground-breaking transport solutions to the world’s transport problems.

With this prize, Juan and his team have won yet another fully-funded “Boarding Pass” to take part in the next Global Transport Hackathon to be set in 2019 in Stockholm.

Literally… Way to Go, Juan!