Award-Winning Capstones: Creating a Sustainable Transit System

in News and Events, Students
May 3rd, 2019

Team R with CGS faculty Peter Busher, John Mackey, and Adam Sweeting

The Team

Nicole Bourke, Elena Desanti, Kevin Hom, Jacquie Jakimowicz, Justin Lee, and Coco Ocker 

The Problem

How can we make the Boston transportation system sustainable and workable, both now and in the future? Taking on the name TransitMatters, the team offered a clear and thorough plan of action for the MBTA to improve its service and plan for the future. Focused on short-term and long-term solutions, the team examined subway systems in London, San Francisco and Hong Kong—constructing a plan of action that stretches 50 years into the future.

Praise from Professors

The group clearly articulated the pivotal role transit systems play in city life. They combined a passionate commitment to a sustainable future with a keen understanding of the economic and environmental costs that accrue from poor transit planning.

How They Succeeded 

  • Kevin Hom (CGS’18, Sargent’20): We worked well as a team and found a topic that all of us were genuinely interested in. We were also able to find real-world examples of potential solutions that were implemented in other countries that could be realistically implemented in Boston. Finally, we stuck to deadlines and often set goals that were outside of the rubric so that we could pace ourselves when writing and editing.
  • Jacquie Jakimowicz (CGS’18, COM’20): I believe our Capstone succeeded because of the student diversity within our team. Comprised of two students in the College of Communication, two in Sargent College, one in the Questrom School of Business, and one in the College of Arts and Sciences, each individual brought to the project a unique skillset and knowledge from which we benefitted as a whole.

What They Learned

  • Jacquie: While I originally thought time management was already a significant element of my individual BU education, I learned that it was an even more vital component of Capstone. There is absolutely no time to procrastinate.
  • Kevin: The most important thing I learned was the ability to collaborate with others to write a comprehensive paper.

Any Tips? 

  • Jacquie: In tackling the Capstone project, I would suggest a constant line of communication with fellow students and generally quick response times from all members. Setting forth a weekly meeting time along with knowing everyone’s schedules is also helpful in ensuring fairness and cohesion.
  • Kevin: Get a good head start on the project so that you have at least a week to just edit the paper together as a group.

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