The City of Cape Town has launched a new transport application for smartphones called Transport for Cape Town (TCT) that merges the timetables, stops and stations of scheduled transport services, allowing residents and visitors to plan their journeys through bus, rail and private transport.
The app was developed by WhereIsMyTransport, founded by Devin de Vries and Chris King in 2008. Today, the company has 15 employees and builds tools to allows transport operators to manage their data. It handles all development, route planning and algorithms for its platform in-house.
“We were approached by the City of Cape Town towards the end of last year and it was a 10 month fast sprint to the launch of the Transport for Cape Town app,” De Vries tells TechCentral.
He says WhereIsMyTransport built a platform that will allow any city to make use of this technology, but says Cape Town has taken the lead with the journey planning capability that is available in the app.
TCT combines maps of all scheduled public transport services across the city — from the MyCiTi bus service, to Metrorail and the Golden Arrow Bus Service. It notifies users about bus and train delays as well as service interruptions, accidents, roadworks and road closures.
The app tells commuters which transportation mode to use to reach their destination and includes a list of options of the various transport service operators in their vicinity. It also features the closest shops or accomodation to a commuter’s vicinity, the distance to the station or bus stop, estimated costs for the journey, and a departure and arrival schedule.
Cape Town mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron says the app allows commuters to report potholes, faulty traffic lights, flooding, accidents and bad driver behaviour directly to the city. It records the location via GPS and the user can attach a photo to their report.
De Vries says the app has to interact with various city transport systems and access was provided specifically for this app and is not based on Cape Town’s forthcoming plans to provide open data access to its citizens.
The TCT app is available on most popular platforms include Android, iOS, BlackBerry and Windows Phone. While the Android and Windows Phone versions are available for download already, the iOS and BlackBerry versions will reflect in their respective stores within a day or two. — © 2014 NewsCentral Media