Apres Ski in Austin: Riding the Wire

It’s no secret that Austin is growing faster than its infrastructure can keep up with. Mopac is a parking lot, it takes 15 minutes to drive two miles and there’s not much people are doing to change their habits. There’s been small changes with the building of the light rail, but it’s still not at a point where it makes sense for more people to use it. And while the biking community is huge, there is still a need for better public transportation to ease our traffic problem.

Meet Michael McDaniel and Jared Ficklin. They spoke last week at TedxAustin about how a possible solution to this very issue. No, these dudes are not city planners — they are just inspired and excited. Inspiration came from an old picture of Austin street cars and…the ski industry. I know, what can Austin possibly learn from the ski slopes of Austria and Aspen? A lot.

As designers, Michael and Jared looked at this problem through the lens that UX guys rely on: any experience needs to begin with what the users are looking for. They addressed concerns regarding massing transit including scheduling and personal space. They focused on how to show off our beautiful city. They even mapped out the potential routes.

Forget my recap, just watch the video for yourself. I gave them a standing ovation at TED and I sure hope you are equally as inspired by their passion for change with innovative ideas. See you on the Wire!


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