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photo credit: pratt.edu

The DO School’s Community Mobility Challenge tasked students to create a mobility program that fosters networking, is affordable and reduces environmental impact

photo credit: pratt.edu

Over the summer, as part of the DO School’s Community Mobility Challenge, four Pratt students created “Yard-Ease,” a low-cost, environmentally friendly, ride-sharing app for Brooklyn Navy Yard employees. The Community Mobility Challenge tasked the students to find an affordable, sustainable solution for the growing needs of the Brooklyn Navy Yard‘s work force which is expected to grow from 7,000 to 20,000 in the next few years.

Teamed up with12 students from other participating schools, Pratt students Aamir Ansari, Vania Arevalo, Isidora Concha and Jonathan Marable participated in Innovative NYC, a program which gives students the opportunity to learn entrepreneurial skills and tackle real-life challenges under the umbrella of the nonprofit organization DO School. The students were asked to create a shared economy mobility program that would reduce driving while fostering connections between Brooklyn Navy Yard employees, reducing environmental impact and being financially beneficial to the users.

“Convenient transportation is essential to connect the business and idea hubs at the Navy Yard with the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, DUMBO and other nearby centers for innovation as well as with the academic community,” said Mark Parsons, executive director of the Consortium for Research and Robotics, a research center of Pratt Institute which is located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Photo credit: Pratt Institute

The team of students determined a ride-sharing app to be the ideal solution to facilitate a sustainable and low-cost commute. Because its scope would be limited to Brooklyn Navy Yard employees, their ride-sharing service would also foster networking and potentially build community among the tenants.

During a series of DO School workshops, the group worked intensively on the development of their ride-sharing app “Yard-Ease” for several weeks, moving through various testing stages. In a final step, they created additional features for the app and a marketing plan to promote the service.

“It’s terrific to see Pratt students involved in working to develop alternative solutions that are a necessity for the growth that is happening at the Navy Yard,” said Parsons.

At the end of the program, the students delivered their ride-sharing plan to the city to be considered for implementation.


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