Seattle Civic Tech: Hacking Government Bureaucracy One App at a Time

The easiest way to explain civic technology? Open up the OneBusAway app on your smartphone.

OneBusAway gives users real-time transit info. So, the next time you’re at the bus stop wondering how long you need to wait, you can just tap the OneBusAway app and it will tell you the number of minutes accurately and instantaneously.

Kari Watkins and Brian Ferris, the University of Washington grads who created OneBusAway, took open government data and built a user-friendly mobile app interface. The app is a perfect example of civic technology, as it serves as an intermediary between the public and confusing, difficult-to-access government information.