The day has arrived. Let’s roll!
Awhile back, ioby and Transit Center announced that our Trick Out My Trip (TOMT) campaign was coming back for round two. We love this program: residents with great ideas put in elbow grease and work alongside local transit agencies to improve the transit experience all around the country? And the money they raise is MATCHED?? BOOM.
Earlier this summer, local leaders submitted their ideas, ioby and TransitCenter selected a group of 10 finalists, and today through August 5, we’re going to match the first $100 of every donation made to their projects until our funds run out. (All told, participating leaders are eligible for up to $10,000 in match funds! )
If that doesn’t get your wheels turning, maybe these outcomes from our inaugural TOMT will:
- In fall 2014, the first ten groups of local leader raised a total of $53,596 for their projects, including $26,152 in matching funds. In less than 12 months, all of their projects had been implemented.
- By making their commutes easier and more enjoyable, our first round of TOMT leaders inspired their neighbors to consider what transit means to them and how their lives could be measurably improved with only a small amount of money and working together
- These first-time TOMT leaders reimagined and reframed transportation and were able to influence small but meaningful changes to their transit agencies’ cultures and practices
Peep lots more powerful findings in our TOMT first round report.
Binh Dam, leader of the first TOMT’s TimelyTrip and MARTA Army campaigns, says, “We rallied more than 150 volunteers to mount our signs to 200 bus stops around Atlanta, providing essential maps and schedule information to riders. In doing so, we transformed the community’s desire for better transit into real outcomes, and we will use this experience to plan more exciting initiatives.”
Transit agencies took note of the work ioby leaders were doing, and some even decided to follow their constituents’ leads. “MARTA’s Trick Out My Trip campaign was a slam dunk for our customers and for the transit agency,” says Lyle V. Harris, a MARTA spokesman who worked on the effort with his colleagues. “In addition to paying for bicycle repair kiosks at a number of our rail stations as an incentive for more cyclists to ride MARTA, it helped us to forge some new relationships with the public and private sectors in ways that are still providing tangible benefits to our community.”
“We believe building a sustained advocacy effort for major change can start with smaller, citizen-led improvements to the transit system, which can leverage the necessary taxpayer dollars needed for more widespread upgrades,” says David Bragdon, executive director of TransitCenter. “ioby is the ideal partner in this effort. We’re excited to see the ideas that the campaign leaders bring to life.”
How can you get in on the action?
Well: The second round of TOMT leaders are beginning their public fundraising efforts today. So this week, our blog will be taking a deep dive into their efforts. We’ll examine how they’re rethinking their commutes and inspiring their neighbors to act, and how their work is changing the way all of us think about public engagement, community resilience, and sustainable cities.
Here’s a brief overview of the leaders and projects you’ll see profiled here in the next four days. Check them out and give it up for better transit!
In Detroit, MI:
+ Renard Monczunski, Adopt A Stop
In Memphis, TN:
In Miami, FL:
+ Germane Barnes, B.U.S. Miami
In New Orleans, LA:
+ Heidi Schmalbach, The Story Shelter on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard
In Austin, TX:
+ Melissa Henao-Robledo, Mi Jardin 100 for $100
These awesome projects are strengthening relationships and morale among neighbors, improving transit infrastructure in meaningful ways, and setting a new bar for positive and productive citizen engagement. We’re just as excited and proud of this year’s leaders as we are of the last. Keep your eyes on the blog this week to find out why!