Our Prototyping Journey
How we are testing our idea
Our idea will positively impact employers, employees and the community at large by having a more stable workforce.Santi Garces, Chief Innovation Officer
South Bend will use simulations and observations to assess: whether low-income and part-time shift workers will commute directly to work; whether they will show up on time for Uber; whether they have sufficient access to smartphones and Wifi; and whether employers are willing to pay.
What we're discovering through testing
South Bend is balancing the rigor of randomized controlled trials with an iterative design approach. The team gave a cohort of shift workers Uber cards to transport them to and from work, and measured them against a number of metrics. One finding that surprised them was the discrepancy in the length of time spent on shift when employees had Uber cards compared to when they didn’t. The team found that once an employee knew they had a ride home, they didn’t feel the need to leave early.
It's messier to look at the problem and ask citizens what they think the solutions are, and even though its messier, it's much more impactful.Genevieve Crum, Project Manager
The team had envisioned giving employees Uber cards, but now they've realized that participants don't need the ride every day, just in times of "emergency'' - for example, when their own car breaks down. They are now testing an insurance model where they give employees 16 cards that they can use over 4 weeks, only when they need.
What we've learned
The program has allowed the team to forge relationships with the largest employers in the city. Through face-to-face meetings and “getting to know people as people”, the team involved these key stakeholders from the very start, and have genuinely co-created the program. Stakeholder buy-in is key in the sustainability of their idea, as it means employers will be more likely to adopt the program going forward.
We’ve formed deep relationships with stakeholders, and helped them to see this is a city wide issue.Genevieve Miller, Project Manager