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City of Bloomington, Indiana

City Announces Winners of Civic Code Challenge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 18, 2017

For more information, please contact:

Thomas Miller, Director of Innovation, 812-349-3552, milleto@bloomington.in.gov

City Announces Winners of Civic Code Challenge

Bloomington, Ind. - Today the City announced Indiana University students Hayden Mills and Dipt Chaudhary as the winners of its Civic Code Challenge, winning the $500 first prize. The challenge was a part of this year's Combine technology and entrepreneurship conference held on April 7th. Entrants were tasked with creating a mobile application that would allow users to purchase digital tickets to ride Bloomington Transit buses. Mills and Chaudhary created the winning application, making it easy for riders to purchase digital bus tickets with a credit card and store them for later use via their smart phones. Currently, bus riders must pay in cash, use a pre-purchased bus ticket or show a valid City of Bloomington, Indiana University, or Monroe County ID card. The tickets on the mobile application were designed to be easy to read and secure.

The second-place team of David Witwer and Abraham Kim was awarded a $350 prize and third-place winner Zon Haralovich was awarded $150.

"We have an incredibly talented tech community and we want to encourage and promote innovation like this whenever possible," Mayor John Hamilton said. "Our code challenge participants made an important contribution to the City. We're eager to have more opportunities to see what our developers can create that we can implement here in Bloomington."

The entries were judged based on their fit with the design challenge guidelines, compatibility with the City's existing IT infrastructure, security of the app-generated tickets, and design and ease of use of the application as a whole.

The City will work in partnership with Bloomington Transit to test the winning application in the field. The data gathered from the field trial and public input will inform Bloomington Transit's efforts to make public transportation more accessible.

"Our staff was very impressed with the interest and enthusiasm we saw in the code challenge," Bloomington Transit General Manager Lew May said. "We're very fortunate to have a community that's so engaged and we're eager to continue working with Hayden and Dipt on their project."

The challenge was co-sponsored by the Combine, Bloomington's annual technology and entrepreneurship conference, the City's ITS Department and the City's Office of Innovation. The two City offices together recently launched a Civic Coding brigade as a part of their ongoing efforts to encourage civic engagement around technology and coding.

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