We want innovative solutions that put commuters and communities first


Just Transit is a community challenge with a simple goal: reduce emissions while increasing equitable transportation options.

Cities are changing. Communities are growing, but the density of those communities varies from concentrated urban growth to suburban expansion. Mobility options are increasing, but so are the questions and tradeoffs that city officials, urban planners, local nonprofits and entrepreneurs are facing:

  • How do you build smarter transit routes, while ensuring equitable access to diverse and wide-reaching communities?
  • How do you balance a car-commuting culture with increasing carbon emissions?
  • How can you keep up with new technologies and mobility options like electric vehicles and ride-sharing, and determine which are the right ones for the future of your community?

In 2015, the Just Transit Challenge focused on some of these questions in San Francisco, mobilizing an established but disconnected network of transportation solutions to design the future of transit in the city, and to do so with innovative partnerships and a commitment to implement the solutions within two-years.

This year, the Just Transit Challenge is designed to discover innovative solutions in Fresno and Long Beach because we believe that everyone should get around town efficiently, that transit systems should work effectively, and that we can all breathe our air easily.


The 11th Hour Project designed the challenge in collaboration with transit experts, community partners, nonprofits, government agencies, and you. While we will carefully consider all ideas, the best ones will keep these principles in mind.

Optimize Infrastructure

Leverage supply and demand to better utilize existing infrastructure

Demonstrate Alternatives

Stimulate alternatives to capital-intensive solutions

Public and Private Partnerships

Encourage cross-sector collaboration and mutually beneficial solutions

Demystify with Data

Mobilize information to increase transparency of transit systems

Trustworthy, Not Just Tolerable

Build trust between and among riders and providers

All About The User

Put the user experience at the center of an equitable mobility solution


December 16, 2016

Submit your innovative solution to transform transit in Fresno or Long Beach starting October 27, 2016. Applications must be received by 11:59 PM EST on December 16, 2016 to be considered for judging.


February 2017

A panel of expert judges will score solutions based on their potential to effect change in each of the cities’ transit systems. A total of $400,000 will be awarded to the best solutions help hit the ground running.


Whether you’re an engineer, entrepreneur, or enthusiast, we need your ideas to make our transit system better for everyone.

To be eligible for the challenge, entrants must:

  • Agree to all legal terms and conditions of the challenge, including the requirement that solutions are accessible to the public
  • Be affiliated with an organization that can legally receive unrestricted grant funding
  • Meet all submission deadlines, including submitting a completed application form by the noted deadline

Eligible solutions must:

  • Include a detailed implementation plan articulating how the solution will be deployed
  • Reduce oil and natural gas usage
  • Implement the proposed solution either in Long Beach or Fresno

Note: organizations not based in Fresno or Long Beach can apply as long as they clearly outline their implementation plan for either city

While not required, eligible solutions are also encouraged to:

  • Include a letter of support from at least one partner needed to implement the solution


The panel of judges and the challenge administrator will assess the overall quality of each entry based on the responses in the entry form and their expertise. Entries will be evaluated against all other eligible entries received. Each section will be evaluated against the challenge criteria—see below. The winners will be the entries that most strongly exemplify each category and are approved by The 11th Hour Project.

The Solution

  • Does the solution reflect the design principles?
  • Is the proposed solution appropriate for the given city, i.e., Fresno or Long Beach?

Projected Impact

  • Does this solution have the potential to reduce emissions?
    Are the associated assumptions well documented?
  • Does this solution have the potential to reduce cost and travel time?
    Are the associated assumptions well documented?
  • Does this solution promote access to shared and/or human-powered transit?
  • Does this solution provide equitable access to a diverse range of stakeholders—including underserved communities?


  • Does the solution have a clear implementation plan?
  • Is the solution leveraging other resources, partners or relationships to support the plan?

About the Host


Just Transit is hosted by The 11th Hour Project, a program of The Schmidt Family Foundation. Based in the Bay Area, The 11th Hour Project is committed to reducing reliance on fossil fuels and promoting the adoption of renewable energy options. We see challenges such as Just Transit as effective and powerful tools for innovation. And there’s no better time to start than now.