12432 BB: Transit Deserts and Fare Card Woes: Creating Solutions for Transportation Challenges

06/13/2015 @ 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
El Capitan A

Organizers: Nathalie Rayter, Andrea Hart, Amaris Alanis Ribeiro
Presenters: Nathalie Rayter, Andrea Hart, Amaris Alanis Ribeiro, Robert Friedman

The first step in providing equitable access to learning opportunities is actually getting access to the opportunity providers. Youth face a number of barriers to physically moving in and around learning institutions. While digital media can provide an avenue for engagement that transcends physical presence, often the most impactful relationships stem from building face-to-face relationships. This session invites participants to learn about existing work being done throughout the Chicago Hive Learning Network and then problem-solve solutions for transportation and access issues that they might face in their own cities or regions.

During this session, participants will explore how organizations in Chicago’s Hive Learning Network have come together to address the citywide challenges facing youth that don’t drive, have limited financial resources, and have to navigate through unfamiliar neighborhoods to get to out-of-school-time programs. Although Chicago has a vibrant public transportation network with the potential to encourage equitable access to program opportunities, teens are limited by a lack of accessible transit, complex transit systems, and an infrastructure that – by design – is often set up to make them feel uncomfortable. Individual program providers have implemented ways to help reduce transportation barriers for youth, but realize that these quick fixes fail to address underlying issues of access and disinvestment in neighborhoods, resulting in limited impact.

Session participants will hear a brief overview of current activities intended to increase awareness of the problems and identified potential actionable solutions. Current network-level activities are focused on documentation and include a data visualization for seeing how youth are traveling around the city, a youth-led audio project to document youth stories as they take public transportation, and curating organization solutions and resources. Potential solutions for action range from building infrastructure for encouraging more biking to coordinating free youth-only buses around the city.

After this brief 15-minute overview, participants will come together to share challenges they might face in their own learning ecosystems and brainstorm new solutions. Participants will then workshop potential new solutions in breakout groups. As a group, we will ideate around potential solutions to addressing systemic issues and best practices for change. Potential solutions may include creating a document for best practices when using public transportation, designing mobile solutions, building a system to facilitate shared rides or coordinated use of public transportation, or prototyping ways to activate young people to advocate for changes within their communities.

Session organizers will document the solutions generated by breakout groups digitally for moving the work forward after the conference. Participants will be invited to continue ideating around the issue of equitable access by engaging with organizers through existing collaborative documents and blogs.

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