Silicon Valley investments created massively scalable platforms like Uber, Facebook and Airbnb. Here’s how to engage governments and make the platform model work for everyone.

Over the last few decades we’ve seen an acceleration in the myriad ways software has changed how we work, eat, shop, socialize, learn and communicate. Our phones have become inextricably woven into the fabric of our lives, while software and new technology have enabled an incredible amount of wealth creation and accumulation of capital. For many, Silicon Valley represents not only the cradle of technological innovation, it’s the embodiment of capitalism itself.

Yet as anyone…

When circumstances changed, so did our plan.

Photo by Yu Hosoi on Unsplash

We started with the idea for OpenTransit in the summer of 2019. After a few weeks of discussion over coffee, email and Slack we had the basic idea: create an open-source rideshare platform that any municipality could use. This would give growing cities and towns a new tool for public transportation, providing better service and a more efficient flow-through of subsidies that make up a significant part of all public transit services.

We also saw an opportunity to provide a social good by improving the digital literacy and self-sufficiency of small governments. With the OpenTransit platform providing the business case…

The use and ownership of transit data is essential for both public transit optimization and the revenue growth of for-profit transit services. Which is exactly why it’s a big problem.

Not a great movie.

The first battle of Los Angeles was a false alarm. In February 1942, just 3 months after Pearl Harbour was attacked, an errant weather balloon set off a barrage of anti-aircraft fire over LA. Five deaths (three traffic fatalities, two heart attacks) were attributed to the panic and confusion. This incident loosely inspired the mediocre 2011 sci-fi war movie Battle: Los Angeles (and the less said about that, the better).

This weekend the New York Times weighed in on what many of us urban dwellers have been seeing for some time — economic migration to the suburbs and beyond.

Read the article on the New York Times site here.

photo: Juan Arredondo for The New York Times. Article link is to the right.

The key driver, most obviously, is cost of living issues. The majority of people under 35 that I work with in downtown Toronto have given up on the idea of ever owning a home in the city, and rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto and Vancouver averages well over $2,000/month.

Lifestyle factors are a big issue as well. Choosing to raise a family in the city — where the monthly childcare cost for a single child might be bigger than a mortgage payment—is a non-starter for many. Proximity to…

Without a doubt Canada is one of the top destination for economic immigration — people moving to Canada for economic opportunities. In order to increase the benefits of economic immigration for smaller communities, the Federal Government announced the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot in the summer of 2019.

Eligibility requirements can be found at the link above. workers who want to work and live in one of the participating communities:

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario:

Thunder Bay, Ontario:

Brandon, Manitoba:

Altona/Rhineland, Manitoba:

Claresholm, Alberta:

Vernon, British Columbia:

The program provides a path to permanent residence…

We are a group of digital services experts, software engineers, digital product executives and academics with extensive experience in the public services sector. We created OpenTransit as a not-for-profit organization with the broad goal to improve the quality of life and economic opportunities in rural and urban communities across Canada.

We believe in the power and efficiency of open source software. We believe there are more effective ways to deploy public funds to provide meaningful, self sustaining economic benefits. Specifically, we will provide municipalities with public transit options that deliver better service, improved accessibility, local economic opportunities and tools to implement measurable carbon reduction strategies at the local level.

Our whitepaper is available for download here.


OpenTransit is a Canadian not-for-profit company developing open-source software for ‘public good’ digital services

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