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DC Job Alert – Build software or community with the Mobility Lab

Are you fascinated by transportation and passionate about using technology to help people? The Mobility Lab Transit Tech initiative is looking for Software Development Fellows and an Open Source Community Manager to help create innovative technology tools around transportation and foster open source collaboration.

Real-time transit screen at Java Shack. Photo courtesy of GGW.

Two fellows, Andy Chosak and Eric Fidler, worked from October through January to create innovative projects using open data, Transit Near Me and Real-Time Transit Screens. Andy and Eric’s fellowships have ended and they will be moving on to other projects, but you can continue their work or branch off to ideas of your own as part of our second class of fellows!

Also, a big part of the Transit Tech Initiative is collaboration between fellows and other open source developers. We are looking for an Open Source Community Manager to bring that collaboration to the next level.

I’m managing the Transit Tech Initiative part-time, and will be continuing in that role.

Software Development Fellows

Software development fellows will build software using open data to help users of transit, bicycling, and other modes of travel. Fellows may select among a number of ideas, some of which build on the existing Real-Time Transit Screen and Transit Near Me projects built at the Mobility Lab by the 2011 class of fellows, and some of which expand into new, related areas.

Potential projects include:

  • Extending the Real-Time Transit Screen project to meet the needs of more business customers and home users, including a self-service screen setup interface, ability to add advertising, and more.
  • Building “Screen In Your Pocket” to show real-time information about nearby transit, using a display like the transit screen on a web-based or native smartphone app
  • Creating a commute planning tool to show people multimodal commute choices between their home and work
  • Designing and implementing an attractive graphic visualization of commute options
  • Refining Transit Near Me into a highly usable mobile app that would be a complete solution for getting transit information on the go
  • Implementing systems to crowdsource quality of GTFS feeds by letting users suggest errors and potential corrections and routing those to appropriate transit agencies
  • Other ideas, developed collaboratively by the Fellow and Mobility Lab

Fellows work full-time out of our offices in Rosslyn. Fellowships begin as soon as possible and continue to June 30, with the potential to extend for a longer period of time if fellows are interested and funding is available in the next fiscal year.

Responsibilities include:

  • Working cooperatively with the team product manager, the other fellows, and the lab’s advisors to choose a project and a set of features to work on for the fellowship.
  • Developing, testing and debugging the fellowship project.
  • Assisting other fellows on their projects.


  • Experience with Web frontend and backend technologies. Transit Near Me was built using Python and Django, while Real-Time Transit Screens currently uses PHP. Experience with these (or a strong willingness to learn) is ideal.
  • Experience with data visualization technologies, cartography, and/or geospatial technologies like PostGIS a plus.
  • Experience with open data technologies like GTFS and real-time bus APIs a plus.
  • Experience with open source software development a plus.
  • Able to work independently with minimal supervision and accomplish goals.
  • Passionate about transportation and technology.

Fellows will receive a weekly stipend based on level of experience.

Please apply with a resume and cover letter to

Open Source Community Manager

The Mobility Lab is looking for an Open Source Community Manager to encourage collaboration and interaction among the community of software developers interested in building tools around open transit data and the Mobility Lab’s software development fellows.

This position involves a commitment of approximately 5-10 hours per week. Applicants for this position may take on this responsibility while also working part or full time at other jobs, provided they can attend at least one daytime meeting per week at our offices in Rosslyn. (The specific time of this meeting can be scheduled around all involved parties’ schedules). A Software Development Fellow may also take on this responsibility as a portion of his or her fellowship if they desire.

Funding is only guaranteed until the end of the current fiscal year (June 30), but we hope to continue the Open Source Community Manager position into the future and candidates interested in potentially continuing for longer periods of time are preferred.

Responsibilities include:

  • Reaching out to interested software developers inside government or transit agencies or private persons with a desire to work on tools using open data.
  • Fostering regular communication among the community around shared ideas, priorities and projects.
  • Organizing regular events such as Hack Days and “unconferences” to provide opportunities for collaboration.
  • Organizing a speaker series on subjects of interest to the community.
  • Evangelizing open data to transit agencies.
  • Writing regular blog posts on, CommuterPageBlog, and Greater Greater Washington about the events and to show off the projects created by various members of the community.


  • Experience working with open source projects in a programming, project management, or other product or technical capacity.
  • Excellent writing ability.
  • Self-motivated and able to work independently to achieve objectives.
  • Passionate about transportation and technology.

Please apply with a resume and cover letter to

This opportunity is cross posted from Greater Greater Washington by David Alpert, where it appeared on January 26, 2012 10:32 am.


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