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GOMETRO - an app that keeps the country moving

Wednesday, 22 April 2015   (0 Comments)
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What? User-driven transport mapping

Why? Plugging the information gap for commuters seeking real-time updates on the public transport system, including minibus taxis, making their daily commute easier

How? A smartphone app that integrates user-driven updates and a printed map of minibus taxi routes

Project details:

Public transport users are restricted in access and mobility if they don’t have quality information. Currently, very little digital information is available that documents public transport routes – especially minibus taxis in South Africa’s major cities.

Although the GoMetro mobile app has documented and delivered schedule results on Metrorail routes, and recently added MyCiti and Golden Arrow information into the mobile service at www.gometroapp.com, minibus taxi information has remained difficult to capture and produce. Routes are not documented or easily understood by commuters, and it is difficult to embark on trips in areas not serviced by bus or rail routes, which account for large parts of the urban landscape.

After the success of their GoMetro smartphone app, GoMetro has developed a new technique to map minibus taxi and bus routes using smartphones and ground teams. Their ultimate aim is to create truly integrated public transport information in South African cities, and making that data available to commuters as part of the formal information system of a city’s transport system.

For three months at the end of 2014, using smartphones and GoMetro’s mapping technology, a GoMetro team mapped all transport routes around Bellville. Over 100 days, team members rode all the buses, trains and taxis that access the Bellville Public Transport Terminal to build a complete printed map of public transport to and from Bellville.

The GoMetro Bellville Integrated Map is the result of this exercise. It lets commuters know where they can find transport to and from Bellville using all transport modes (buses, minibus taxis and trains). It also shows which second degree connections can be made from Bellville, and illustrates fare costs (as of February 2015) for each transport mode. Commuters will be able to plan and trace their journeys from Bellville to anywhere in the Cape Town area without the need for a private car.

GoMetro shared in the R6.5 million Design Innovation Seed Fund (DISF) grant, made available by Western Cape Government and the Technology Innovation Agency in February this year. Managed by the CCDI, the DISF is a joint fund between the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism and the Technology Innovation Agency.

Justin Coetzee, CEO of GoMetro explains that the funds will be used to develop and take to market a public transport mapping data tool.

 

"We generate a lot of Big Data and have prospective clients in multiple sectors who could benefit from knowing where people are moving, and how easy that movement is. The funding will help to bring version 1 to market, and, as many clients will be in the public sector it will also help us to craft a procurement strategy for our platform.”

Has your commute been changed with the advent of technology like GoMetro? Let us know on  wdc@ccdi.org.za or on Twitter @designcape and Facebook.


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