Time and time again, the S.O.S. Challenge brought Transportation Team 01 to the age-old public transit question: How can we make a bus ride truly AWESOME?

In the midst of a historic pandemic, which is everything but AWESOME, it is important as ever to ensure that the ridership experience is safe, convenient, and something to look forward to! Our environmental analysis revealed that public transit rides are down in numbers due to public perception and lack of unified technical solutions for user experience. We focused on developing an (AWESOME) all-in-one tool for optimizing the transit experience, and it is TranSync!

TranSync Logo

TranSync is a fleet and customer relationship management tool that optimizes public transit on both customer and administrative ends. It is an all-in-one public usage app that can manage, purchase, and store scan-able transit passes and provide real-time route updates and tracking. TranSync organizes and creates fast, dependable information by crowdsourcing users to report route changes, overcrowding, missed stops, etc. The reporting feature lightens the need for administrative action when common traffic issues occur.

We’ve found that the AWESOME-ness of a bus ride comes from allowing the customer to be totally in control of their travels. TranSync pairs with that idea perfectly and is the ultimate tool for creating an AWESOME rider experience!

Team Members

Go Team:

  • Joshua Johnson, IU Bloomington, Business Informatics, 2023. Joshua conducted key market research and collected scholarly sources to help formulate our go-to-market plan and Environmental Analysis.
  • Adedamola Bakare, Indiana State University, Automotive Engineering Technology, 2020. Damola provided market research for the Business Model Canvas and assisted in developing the branding of TranSync.
  • Sydni Wolpert, Huntington University, Animation (Digital Media Arts), 2022. Along with assisting with research and business planning, Sydni developed finalized UI design, TranSync logo, & marketing graphics.

Pro Team:

  • Brian Motley, Product Manager, Indiana University, Master of Public Affairs, Concentrating on Public Policy Analysis and Information Systems, 2021. Brain developed the database and filled it with data. He also wrote many of the SQL calls used in the application.
  • Ryan Nokes, Purdue University, Computer Science, 2021. Ryan wrote the framework and many of the application pages. He also implemented the database calls on the application side.
  • Donald Hau, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Electrical Engineering, 2023. Donald wrote some of the application pages and database calls. He also implemented many of the XML layouts for the application pages.

How did you decide on this customer segment, problem, and solution?

Based on personal customer experience and market data, we spent time brainstorming on how the ridership experience could be improved with a technical solution. We wanted a product that could promote public transit and make riding the bus a positive experience, even during a pandemic.

TranSync offers the ideals which we call the “3 C’s.” Those are communication, control, and convenience. TranSync allows quick, reliable communication between riders and administration. This passes control to the rider when traveling and the ability to report small issues and spread information. All of this makes the ridership experience more convenient, as well as more convenient for the administrative end because TranSync collects reliable data and utilizes crowdsourcing to spread information on routes and minimize the need for action when traffic-related issues occur. All of this makes for an easier, more smooth public transit experience that benefits the riders and administration of public transit.

How did your team build and iterate on the solution?

Our “3 C’s” ideals lead us to the development of TranSync, which is an all-in-one app for managing public transit. TranSync was built to improve the ridership experience by providing convenient functionalities that make taking the public transit system a smooth experience. TranSync users can manage, purchase and store scan-able transit passes, get individualized route updates, track buses, report route changes or issues, and find bus stops easily with an interactive map that will be developed in the future.

Key Metrics

Key metrics will be measured in the future by the number of direct service contracts with transit systems and other pre-contracted transit service vendors. TranSync will be contracted in three-year periods, with yearly payment installments based on the estimated amount of user downloads. A one-time installation fee will occur when TranSync is first contracted to a company.

Technical Architecture

Database Entity Relationship Diagram
Database Entity Relationship Diagram

UI Design Development Process UI Design Development Process


Key Tools, Libraries, and Frameworks

  • Android Studio - Chosen because we wanted to go with an Android based application, and Android Studio is the best choice for designing an Android app.
  • Heroku - The database backend that we choose, runs all of our storage and queries, chosen because it’s free, easy to use, and can integrate with Java/Android Studio
  • PayPal Android SDK - Used for all transactions that run through the application
  • Google Maps API - Used for our route map in the application
  • AWS Buckets - Hosted our database, is free and efficient

If you had another 5 weeks to work on this, what would you do next?

Business Ideas:

  • Collect more market data & refine/ create more administrative customer personas.
  • Conduct interviewws and make pitches to potential transit company partners

Product Ideas:

  • Expand on the functionality of google maps and add clickable bus routes.
  • Add options to the reporting function for greater information availability
  • Add settings to allow for logout functionality, saving certain info, and colorblind options
  • Add optional SMS notifications

Checklist of Completed Items

  • Environmental Analysis - done
  • Business Model Canvas - done
  • Value Proposition Canvas - done
  • Customer Persona(s) - done


    M.Saberi, A. Zockaie K., W. Feng, and A. El-Geneidy, "Definition and Properties of Alternative Bus Service Reliability Measures at the Stop Level," J Public Transp., vol.16, no.1, pp.97-122, 2013. [Online]. Available: https://www.nctr.usf.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/16.1_saberi.pdf
    S. Foell, S. Phithakkitnukoon, G. Kortuem, M. Veloso and C. Bento, "Predictability of Public Transport Usage: A Study of Bus Rides in Lisbon, Portugal," IEEE Trans. Intell. Transp. Sys., vol. 16, no. 5, pp. 2955-2960, Oct. 2015, doi: 10.1109/TITS.2015.2425533.
    D. Sun, H. Luo, L. Fu, W. Liu, X. Liao, and M. Zhao, "Predicting Bus Arrival Time on the Basis of Global Positioning System Data", Transp. Res. Rec., vol. 2034, no. 1, pp. 62-72, Jan. 2007, doi: 10.3141/2034-08.

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