The Verge

The Verge is a future modular train system, which will help passengers reach their destinations on time. The train arrives on-demand, diverging above ground to pick up passengers and converges underground to take them through the city efficiently.

Project Brief

  • Attract new users to engage with the experience by expressing technology in social, compassionate and memorable ways

  • Craft a disruptive point of view and compelling overall brand experience

  • Address specific needs and result in specific emotions and behavior changes

  • Make a compelling case for why the vision should be implemented

Reception poster - 40" x 64"

Final Video Deliverable

A two-and-a-half minute video describing our concept story

Project Information

Class: Behavior


Instructors: Peter Stahl & Haakon Faste


Duration: Five weeks


Key Skills: Storytelling, rapid ideation, video production, and visual design


Tools: Adobe Illustrator, Premiere, Sketch, 


Project Role: Speechwriter, storyteller, visual design (poster & process book), and video editor

Team Member: Xuan Song


  • Final presentation deck presented to CCA, Continental Tires, San Francisco Mayor's Office of Civic Innovation, and Ford Motor Company


  • A 2-4 minute video


  • A large size poster to promote our product



Gathering Key Insights From Daily Commuters

We talked to 33 people who live in the Bay Area and regularly commute by train, the metro, or bus to find out what their experiences on public transportation were like.

Breaking down that information further, we saw that a majority of our participants believed that commuter trains were overcrowded, late, dirty, and required a car to get to.

We used a variety of methods to gather the metadata pertaining to our participants' experiences with commuter trains. We talked to strangers and people on campus who took some form a commuter train. We asked them to share their stories. Some of them used artifacts such as their parking lot ticket and their train schedule. While others took the time to map out their journey.

Ideation and Prototyping

Exploring a Variety of Concepts

We started the prototyping phase by using idea generating worksheets. This allowed us the freedom to put whatever idea, no matter how unconventional,  down onto paper quickly.


From conventional to crazy... some of the early concepts we entertained included a valet parking service at train stations; mood cars on a train line, which suited the passengers' emotions; frequent rider miles; a secondary express line for those who were late but were willing to pay a premium; and even a haptic alert that would physically nudge riders to when the train was a short distance away.

Final Concept

Arriving at the Final Iteration

We came up with a concept using modular pods that worked individually to pick up passengers. Once passengers were picked up, the pods would then converge and link up before heading underground to travel at faster speeds.


While inside of the pods, passengers are free to enjoy a prepared meal, relax, or conduct business, depending on the type of pod they request to suit their needs.


Telling the story for our short film

Who Benefits?

Proposal of next steps

Commuters - get to travel stress-free. Imagine a mode of public transportation you don’t have to worry about and where time is given back to you to enjoy doing the things you want to do.


Ford has the relationships and the technical expertise in transportation - We envision Ford benefiting by opening up their company to once again becoming pioneers in the transportation industry. We also see an opportunity that would allow them to lease their pods to different services.


The City of San Francisco has the infrastructure and relationships with local tech companies. We see the city being able to position themselves as a leader in innovation by showcasing this form of transportation to the world. They can take more cars off the road and expend fewer resources.

John Sun

User Experience Designer

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