OK, commuting sucks. But what if you were given a chance to make it better? What if subways could be less smelly, bus stops less boring, or bike routes more colorful? What if someone actually gave you money to have a blast while getting to work?
Oh wait — someone will! The crowd-funding platform ioby is challenging people to come up with kooky and refreshing ideas for making our tedious transit experiences less tedious. The coolest projects will be crowd-funded through ioby and then offered up to $4,000 in matching funds. The contest is called Trick Out My Trip.
And no, the organizers aren’t looking for more mobile apps that’ll make transit schedules easier to track or anything like that. Instead, they’re hoping people will think way outside of the box — or, ahem, train — and use non-digital ideas to totally reimagine the commute, making it a lot more rider-focused (read: MORE FUN).
The Grist staff has been thinking about this for a while now. Take the deadly bus stop, for instance. What if it were shaped like a strawberry, sheathed in bubble wrap, or occasionally attacked by UFOs? What if it doubled as a community garden?
Or how about turning every street into a bicycle boulevard with snap-together bike lanes? What if every crosswalk was made of rainbows? Maybe every icky commuter rail could have self-cleaning handholds or host a happy hour in the singles car. Possibly a lot more of us could swim to work, enjoy recurring ukulele flash mobs and underwear parties, or just get some free snacks (now THAT’d be a perk).
ioby has a few more ideas, too — about how to turn your bus stop into a playground or a living room, for instance — that you can check out here.
So get out there and make it fantastic, folks.
Update: The October 6 deadline has passed, and October 23 marks the beginning of the crowd-funding extravaganza! Check out the coolest proposals here. All donations are matched.