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THE SLUGBUS PROJECT A University of California Santa Cruz, Transportation Efficiency Application Project Presented March 2014


Project Slugbus: the participatory application and virtual community based out of Santa Cruz County, focused on attaining a sustainable and efficient local transportation system by means of digital media distribution through a modern and interactive interface via smartphones, the Slugbus application.

Concept De-Brief The SlugBus is a community platform specific to the students and civilians of Santa Cruz County and the University of California Santa Cruz, which allows students to actively participate in public transportation tracing. Through the application “Slugbus” community members post and record from their smart phones on whereabouts of transportation activity, and share this information within the social networking community. What SlugBus aims to improve upon is resolving the issue of unreliable public transportation, by participants submitting information from their smart phones when witnessing bus arrival, detours, or tardiness so improvement can occur by means of ground level tracking. Slugbus uses this form of interaction as a means of GPS technology from peer to peer interactions made through each users smart phone devices, this establishes forms of improved communication around these everyday transportation inconsistencies. The benefits to this time efficiency instillation is not only the previously stated, but Slugbus doubles as a project that is twice as effective as normal online scheduling information maintained by the government with inaccurate time plaques , as it functions on transmitting information through blue tooth technology. Through this technology participants on the application can constantly update on public vehicle transportation locations, they can record, post statuses, and share photos, all helping to alert other students without centralized networks of control, or essentially, the internet. To maximize transportation resources in a further time sensitive manner, through motivated participatory political action, and resilient distributed network technology, the application Slugbus allows students and civilians a brighter more reliable future to thrive against the clock.

Designs    

1 - application preface 2 – bus prototype 3 – SlugBus logo 4- Slugbus Design Implementation on UCSC Campus

Long Description The SlugBus application began as an idea, first implemented successfully in Santa Cruz California at the local university. At University of California Santa Cruz, with the application “Slugbus” in full function, citizens and students alike are virtually enabled to participate with others by means of sousveillance, which is most commonly defined as the recording of an activity by a participant in the activity, typically by way of small wearable or portable personal technologies. In addition, participants are connected through means of a distributed networks, which are networks work off of four rules of functioning similar to the activist threat known as swarm systems, These rules are, “The absence of imposed centralized control, the autonomous nature of subunits, the high connectivity between the subunits, and the webby nonlinear causality of peers influencing peers” (Kelly 1). Through these rules, control in the distributed network lies with the people.

Through personal blue-tooth enabled devices such as smart phones, Slugbus users are able to post photos videos and statuses through a distributed network about incoming and outgoing transportation information. Through this constantly updating bus schedule, users are ultimately helping the public keep in touch and oiling down the timely and often inaccurate government machine of vta. With virtual ease, preparation, and awareness the Slugbus application works as a resilient form of communication working on the ground level, node to node, person to person, for a better efficiency involving public transportation. The project was created with influences sourcing from environmental sustainability, the information age, the “App” wave in new digital media, and all together for better use of state and government funding to California Universities. Through the application “Slugbus” students post and record from their own smart phones about campus or county transportation activity, and share this information with other students and civilians within the community. Throughout the campus of UCSC and the city of Santa Cruz there are multiple buses coming at a common inconsistency: all at once, in rare spurts, or only once in a blue moon at peak hours. When most buses are too over populated to board for class, or to commute home from work, Slugbus is the solution. Simply load the app, allow for camera use on your smart phone, and photograph or load photographs to update or receive updates on the nearest bus on route. What Slugbus aims to improve upon through digital media, is implementing information of bus arrival, detours, or tardiness all through means of person-to-person created GPS tracking through photos, videos, and statuses, to establish improved forms of communication around these everyday inconsistencies. Through Slug bus’s interface using distributed network tactics of navigation and a willingness factor in participatory sousveillance, this application enables a constantly updating timing system for campus and county wide transportation by will of the people, for the people. To define a few key terms, distributed networks are networks who aren’t solely dependent on a central source, rather, they depend on node to node distribution functioning in a decentralized format, connected like a spider web to many other sources rather than to one centrally dependent source as in a centralized network. Sousveillance, to reiterate from before, is surveillance from the perspective of the participant. By combining these two aspects of digital media Slugbus is a bright program for the future. Specifically the project aims for demographics such as universities or small towns, because starting small allows the project to grow in strength and in numbers. Once Slugbus has a large enough business investments and can be implemented into other communities, distributed networks and sousveillance will allow for people to hold the power. In this way Slugbus is creating not only political empowerment but also total efficiency, eventually with enough support Sllugbus can sustain and revolutionize within any county in the future, big or small. The concept of the Slugbus maximizes efficiency, shows resilience through its de-centralized functions, and effectively interacts on a political level of involvement through peer to peer interaction through social networking. The benefits to this time efficiency instillation are that location and time of the bus needed, or the bus passing, could be recorded and posted through blue tooth technology, without centralized networks or essentially, even the internet. This makes the application safe, secure, and reliable. To maximize

university transportation resources in a further time sensitive manner with this technology, the application Slugbus allows civilians and students to thrive within their own demographics even further.

Resources Slugbus’s resources exist in both hardware and software realms. The device that runs the application is considered hardware, such as mobile devices enabled with Bluetooth technology like an android, iphone, or a galaxiy S4. Through proprietary software created by the tech and business start up clubs on UCSC campus, electronic data and coding consisting largely of JavaScript was made up to form the application Slugbus. Slugbus continues to profit in the software business, remaining an unopen source of software for now, specifically because of the application’s competitive need in the digital media market, highlighting its true value in the public.

SOLUTION The mobile application Slugbus is accessible to anyone who has a mobile device. The participatory GPS based mobile application will allow participants to stay connected socially, while political empowerment is in their hands through being able to coordinate under a decentralized ground network for better travel, and alternative routes rather than using inaccurate government established bus schedules. Slugbus will be able to both help build networks of communication, political empowerment, as well as be an outlet to effective traveling via means of public transportation. Currently, SlugBus also allows you to find out the latest movements and events in your college or county vicinity at through interacting with the same methods of sousveillance, keeping students and civilians in touch with resources that are available to the community nearby – on campus or in town. This mobile application will let users pre-plan their schedules more accurately, allow them to communicate in freely more distributed fashion, and finally, form better efficiency and execution on daily activities to ultimately improve little by little, increasing life’s and travel’s overall satisfaction.

MILESTONES o o o o o o o o

Wireframes - March 2014 Graphics - April 2014 Fundamental Code - April 2014 Rough Draft - May 2014 Soft Launch - June 2014 Testing Finalized - July - September 2015 Debugging – September - October 2015 Hard Launch - November 2015

Fundraising and Finance Fundraising for the Slugbus project was originally funded by University of California state education funding, but due to recent state wide budget cuts, funding has started sourcing from students through means of political activism on the UCSC campus. Through a call to action that requested local tech and start up groups on campus interested in a bettering ways of traveling, a new form of efficiency in communication emerged - Slugbus. In the donations received from the public, the government, higher education funding, grants, and scholarships, students and supporters, the start of the Slugbus project was achievable, and continues to thrive today in 2015.

Works Cited Kelly, Kevin. "Out of Control: advantages and disadvantages of swarms." Kevin Kelly (KK). Creative Commons, n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2014. Macaskill, Ewen, and Gabriel Dance. "NSA Files: Decoded: What The Revelations Mean For You." The Guardian. Ed. Greg Chen. The Guardian, 1 Nov. 2013. Web. 28 Feb. 2014. "Sousveillance." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundatios Inc, Feb. 2009. Web. 28 Feb. 2014.