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Need to navigate Bellville (among others)? There’s an App for that.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015   (0 Comments)
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Why? Plugging the information gap for commuters seeking real-time updates on the public transport system, including minibus taxis, making their daily commute easier

What?
User-driven transport mapping

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

Quality, reliable information is a vital part of making it easy to navigate the public transport system. Currently, very little digital information is available that documents public transport routes – especially minibus taxis in South Africa’s major cities. Until now. The GoMetro app will get you from A to B in real time.

The GoMetro mobile app has documented and delivered schedule results on Metrorail routes, MyCiti and Golden Arrow information. Find the mobile service at www.gometroapp.com. But 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 a truly integrated public transport information system in South African cities, and make that data available to commuters through the city’s transport communication channels.

For three months at the end of 2014 a GoMetro team mapped all transport routes around Bellville, using smartphones and GoMetro’s mapping technology. 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 was awarded R490 000 of the R6.5 million Design Innovation Seed Fund (DISF), granted by the Western Cape Government in February this year. Managed by the Cape Craft and Design Institute (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 one 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.”

Find the updated GoMetro app here: iOS, and Android

The developers have also begun to work on GoMetro Pro to meet the needs of transport planners and engineers who need good planning data for public transport operations, and for the need to increase the visibility of transport information for public awareness.

Has your commute been changed with the advent of technology like GoMetro? Let us know by email.
 

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