WhereIsMyTransport- open platform for integrated public transport data
WhereIsMyTransport builds solutions for transport in emerging markets, where we see an information, not infrastructural, challenge. Our Open, integrated transport data platform centralises the movement network and turns movement data into meaningful information. Our platform integrates data on any mode, and supports communication, journey planning, and analytics tools for passengers, cities, and transport providers. We map informal transport and integrate it, keeping all the data Open.
On August 31, 2016, WhereIsMyTransport publicly launched their Open platform for integrated transport data--the first and only platform specifically built to integrate data on formal and informally-run transport for cities in Africa and the emerging world.
Today, over 70 projects have begun being built on the platfomr, from grassroots campaign websites to advocate for buses in Beirut, to the official City of Cape Town journey planning app.
We have begun an ambitious project to map and capture the mode of transport used by over 70% of all African commuters: informally-run minibus taxis, matatus, trotro, and daladalas. We will have mapped the taxi networks of all South African metros by mid-2017, and then move on to our next 20 African cities by the end of 2018. All this data is openly available on our platform for anyone to use. We are looking for partner cities who are interested in being one of those 20 cities, and will be making our informal mapping tools available to anyone interested in working with us!
UPDATE: We've released the minibus taxi network data (650+ routes) for Cape Town on our platform! It will be followed by data for all of South Africa's major metros (and a few other cities outside SA) over the course of this year.
How does your innovation work?
Anyone can sign up to our platform at www.developer.whereismytransport.com and start building on our REST API. Full documentation and code snippets are available on the developer portal, along with dedicated support and generic code examples.
Cities can licence enterprise-level use of the API, along with our Software-as-a-service tools including real time communication between service providers and users, passenger engagement tools, and analytics. These tools can also be used by transport operators or other service providers. We connect live data feeds from any source, from tracking devices/AVLs to wifi units.
What Evidence do you have that your Innovation works?
Our key aim is to have a breadth of cities reliably supported by the platform. While it is important to have many cities on the platform, our platform should also contain all the modes available for accurate planning on the part of the city and individual passengers.
Today, our platform serves 17 cities across 10 countries with 75,000km of routes, up from 40,000 when we first launched 5 months ago. We have reliably handled over 10 million requests at a success rate of 99.99%. For journey planning purposes alone, we process between 125,000 and 150,000 requests daily with a median request time of 150ms.
While we have not yet been able to conduct formal evaluations of the impact of the various apps, end points, etc that are built on our platform, or on the cities that have adopted our communications and analytics tools (it is too early still), we have a great deal of anecdotal evidence from those users that it has increased their visibility on their transport systems, impacted their infrastructure and development decisions, and made it easier for people to access the system.
Currently, our platform is used by several cities and transport operators in South Africa. Mobile apps built on our platform have collectively over 80,000 downloads (they are based in various African cities).
What is your strategy for expanding use of your innovation?
We work with integration partners in the cities where we deploy, to ensure our systems are fully integrated with the city's existing infrastructure. We work through alliances of cities or are directly approached by them.
When choosing where to increase our data presence and conduct informal mapping projects, we select cities based on the interest on the ground, the presence of existing partners, and available complimentary data. Over the next 2 years we aim to map all the informal transport systems in African cities over 2 million people, and we will also be implementing in a number of cities. We also hope the community of develoepers buildling on our platform will continue to grow, making clear the value of Open, integrated, queryable data for all.
Regarding exhibition space if we are selected for the Tech Demonstrator: we would require a small exhibition space (10sqm would be sufficient), several monitors and associated cables, and wifi (we will run demos on our personal machines). We will also need some stands/tables for those monitors, one other table, and a few chairs. We would bring our own banners.
We are currently:
actively reaching out to and engaging with cities around adopting the platform
working to grow the data we support, for formal and informal networks (including mapping informal networks as mentioned)
increasing the community of developers building apps and end points on our platform on that new expanded data
introducing more channels and tools for passengers to engage with their service providers, their cities, and contribute real time data updates to the system