MOBILE- The city will unveil a collection of design ideas that allow citizens to access job information while riding a city bus, at an event tonight in Downtown Mobile.
The prototypes are the result of a semester-long collaboration with Auburn University’s School of Industrial & Graphic Design within the College of Architecture, Design and Construction.
Sixteen Auburn students participated in Mobile’s design challenge, which was built around the idea that jobs and job training opportunities should be easily accessible to people in the community. The City plans to explore if these unique ideas can be engineered and implemented into a new city-wide public service to improve its public transportation system.
“Mass transit in Mobile is all about helping get our citizens to the places they want to go in life,” Mayor Sandy Stimpson said. “Today’s demonstration shows the innovative ways we can use city services to build a stronger, more vibrant Mobile. I want to thank the Auburn University School of Industrial & Graphic Design for creating a way for us to think differently about the experiences of our citizens who ride public transportation. The talent, skill and professionalism of these students is evident in the work they submitted, and we are proud to display their work for the community to explore.”
The students’ project ideas include mechanical, audio and radio solutions as well as screen-based and app-based formats for delivering career and training information to interested bus riders. One of the prototypes uses geolocation technology to allow riders to find jobs or training available and accessible along bus routes.
Students conducted on-the-ground research in Mobile, interviewing Wave Transit riders at the Clinton L. Johnson Center for Economic Development through Mobile Development Enterprises, as well as management representatives from Wave Transit, AIDT, Austal, and local small businesses to investigate both the needs of bus riders and those hiring and training in Mobile.
“Our research showed that Mobile presently has approximately 5,000 job openings on common online sources,” said Shu-wen Tzeng, associate professor in Auburn’s industrial design program. “We wanted our students to focus on bringing this wealth of jobs and training information into a bus, making it easy for the public to access. We also challenged them to connect the locations of those work or workforce development opportunities, or geo-locate, to current route information, which would be the first tool ever developed that allows the public to specifically target jobs and training programs available on routes serviced by public transportation.”
Members of the Mayor’s Innovation Team, who consulted on the projects and accompanying branding campaigns, will be on hand tonight for a public demonstration of the design ideas outside of the Downtown Alliance building at 261 Dauphin Street from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.