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From: Ben W.
Sent on: Thursday, September 24, 2009 1:56 PM
Hey Folks,

Some of you may remember me speaking at the first open transit data meetup about the need to activate the public politically in order to motivate the MTA into opening up and otherwise reforming its operations.

Well, I'm building a site and meetup around this theme and I'd love to have your participation and input!

The site is here:

And the meetup is here:

And the first meetup:
Tuesday, September 29,[masked]:00 PM
Crocodile Lounge?
325 E 14th St?
New York, NY 10003
The public focus, as I envision it, is putting forth 2 issues:
  • Direct accountability to voters in its service area, rather than to politicians in Albany
  • Using automatic, driverless trains (already in use elsewhere around the world) to vastly reduce crowding, as well as greatly improve the quality of transit via improved service frequency, throughout the day and night, and also through the safety, sound isolation and environmental isolation that platform-side doors effect and enable.
I'm certainly also interested in advocating for the open data cause as part of all this, or else helping to create the conditions where it is likely to be adopted.

The Meetup on Tuesday will focus on meeting and establishing the initial goals and strategy for the group and creating separate sub-groups, focused on:
  • outreach: media; public events; advertising design, strategy and execution
  • policy: evaluating performance of representatives wrt transit, crafting and putting forward concrete policy proposals
  • web development: expanding the site, including by creating minimal but effective public engagement tools
The most immediate need for the site (in case anyone on the list is interested or knows someone to refer me to) is:
I'm trying to do this in as open a way as possible (for example, the site is on github), and many of the images are CC.

I'm very much open to ideas, suggestions, criticism.? Please do speak up, now or at the Meetup!

I hope to see you all there!


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