Community Transit Design Challenge

A $10k Student Challenge to Tackle Community Transit Issues

Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired logo. Confident living with vision loss.Beginning October 2019, Innovate@BU and the Massachusetts Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired (MABVI) will come together to support a BU student and alumni challenge to solve community transit problems that will benefit society at large–and particularly for senior and the blind and low vision community.

In Greater Boston, and across all communities, getting to and from public transportation is wrought with potential hazards. In our current age of technology, we believe there is a better and safer way for all members of the community to travel. In this challenge, we’re asking BU Terriers to use human-centered design to improve community transit.

Sponsored by the Massachusetts Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired & Boston University Innovate@BU.

Fall 2019 Challenge

Goal: In this multi-round challenge, students and/or alumni will develop and design new transportation accessibility solutions for the aging and visually impaired communities, which will ultimately improve transportation for everyone, while competing for a $10,000 grand prize!

Solutions should take the form of new technology or hardware.

Who: All current BU students and alumni are eligible to participate as an individual or team.


  • Round 1 (fall): Students and alumni apply with their ideas and solutions. During Round 1, ideas can be in the conceptual stage.
  • Round 2 (spring): Finalists from Round 1 will be invited to apply for Round 2 and a chance to win the $10,000 grand prize.
  • Finale (spring): Round 2 teams will present their solutions at a Grand Finale pitch night where the grand prize will be awarded.


Round 1:

October 1-31: Applications open

October 10: Challenge Info Session & Panel

November 8: Round 1 Finalists will be notified and receive $500 to work on crafting a more detailed solution for Round 2. Finalists will be paired with mentors.

Round 2:

January-April: Finalists will continue to work on a detailed solution with guidance from mentors and weekly workshops offered through Innovate@BU.

Fall 2020: Finalist teams will present their solutions during Innovation Week at BU. The winning team will be awarded $10,000 and an opportunity to pilot their solution.