What inspired the app:
This app was inspired by an effort to change our campus transportation culture. Due to the suburban nature of SCU and the overwhelming nature of public transportation infrastructure and information, many students have preferences for personal vehicles and rideshare apps to get around the San Jose/Santa Clara community. This is no longer a sustainable option for the university for a variety of reasons; the first being that parking spaces are dwindling due to campus expansion, the second being its conflict with SCU’s sustainability/net neutrality goals and the third being its lack of inclusivity for less affluent members of the SCU community who cannot afford rideshares or personal vehicles.
The Associated Student Government conducted a survey receiving of almost 20% undergrad participation;revealing an interest and openness to utilizing public transportation with the major deterrent being its complication of overwhelming nature. The first incentive we considered was a university subsidizing unlimited transit program, “VTA Smart Pass”. In order for the school to agree to a slight tuition increase we were challenged with proving student interest and usage. Our plan to build ridership and collect data was this app.
What it does
Bronco Transit Hub’s main objectives are these:
- To show popular and timely events and destinations on and around campus
- To simplify public transportation for students
We designed it as a destination-first app, where students can easily find places to go around campus, and use the same app to take advantage of the public transportation nearby to get there. It also keeps track of users and has incentives such as your total money saved using Bronco Transit Hub to motivate students to use the app.
How I built it
We designed the app pages using pencil & paper, then moved to Adobe XD. We built this iOS application using mainly swift and some python for the web scraper. We relied heavily on using xCode.
The backend is built in AWS. Lambda functions host our RESTful API, allowing us to read and write from a database of rider information.
Challenges I ran into
We had a hard time connecting the front and back ends, however both are fully functional separately.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Building a scraper to take in SCU events and their data (such as date, time, and location).
Designing nearly every page of the app using Adobe XD. Building a fully-functional backend using AWS that keeps track of user login & data.
What I learned
We learned a lot about designing and developing an iOS app, how to go from a design to a real product, and how to build a web scraper from scratch.
What's next for Bronco Transit Hub
This creation of this application will be continued and eventually we hope to put this application out there for all students to use.