Crowdfunding Transit Challenge Set for Oct. 6
Ever wanted help make MARTA an even better transit system, one bus stop or rail station at a time? Well, now’s your chance.
Last week, the crowdfunding platform IOBY (a cleverly subversive acronym that stands for “in OUR backyards”), and the non-profit Transit Center based in New York, launched a program called “Trick Out My Trip” that’s providing up to $4,000 in matching funds for community-sponsored projects that will make taking transit easier, safer and more enjoyable.
The goal of TOMT is to co-sponsor ten, transit-centric projects in cities and towns across the country to demonstrate how smaller, grass-roots efforts can begin to fundamentally change the way people use and perceive public transportation.
“For the most part, investment in transit comes in billions of dollars,” Erin Barnes, executive director of IOBY recently told the Next City blog. “Our focus has always been on small projects. We want to see solutions led by riders and people who actually use the services, rather than municipalities.”
IOBY and the Transit Center point to some of the work already done by transit-supporters around the world who, for example, have installed community gardens at rail stations, built mini-libraries at bus stops and created art-inspired signage that infuse the often austere, soul-less transit experience with a much-needed human touch.
Although MARTA isn’t planning on putting Persian rugs or reading lamps at its bus stops as IOBY’s video humorously depicts, the transit agency supports our customers and local affinity groups who share our mission of transforming Atlanta’s hometown transit system for the future.
If you want to participate in TOMT, please let us know. But time is of the essence: The deadline for expressing interest in getting a project funded by TOMT is Oct. 6.