Philly, SEPTA’s challenge to help people with disabilities

Powers said SEPTA and the city are looking for innovators to come up with similar ideas, using things like smartphones and smart glasses, to help people with disabilities be more comfortable with public transportation.

“This effort was derived from the feedback we’ve received over the years,” Power said. “People with disabilities are a key group and we focus on making the system more accessible and that’s just another way to do it.”

The challenge has three phases: first, applications must be submitted by August 2nd. A jury will then select up to 12 semifinalists to avoid their ideas during a virtual presentation session. Up to six teams will advance to the final round and receive small grants for prototyping. The winning teams, chosen from the group of finalists, will win more than $ 35,000 in cash prizes and the chance to pilot their ideas.

Meanwhile, the city is asking disabled pilots to take an online survey and share their experiences using mass transit. The survey deadline ends July 17 and the results will help inspire ideas for the challenge.

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