At this year’s Hackathon in Prague, an annual contest that pits teams of logicians against each other in problem-solving battles, one of the puzzles given to contestants was to come up with a feasible plan for a mode of transport of the future that would reduce emissions, congestion, and stress.
Hackathon is attended by teams of contestants ranging from teens to senior citizens, but it was a team of students from the Czech Technical University ČVÚT devised what was eventually chosen as the best concept.
Their plan: use the warning strip that tells passengers how far to stand back on Prague’s metro platform to also tell passengers where they should board.
Using a color-coded light system, for example, the warning strip could light up in red, yellow, and green to let passengers know which metro carriages are free, and which are crowded.
This would allow passengers to board more quickly, and speed up the metro by three seconds per stop according to the students.
That won’t get you home any quicker, but it will save more than a minute per journey for the metro, and allow the city to schedule fewer runs per day. Estimated savings per year? 250 million CZK.
For their plan, the ČVÚT team was awarded a prize of 135,000 CZK and given the opportunity to implement a trial run of their concept at one undisclosed metro station in Prague.
If the pilot project is successful, additional stations across Prague are likely to implement the time- and money-saving concept.