People 'n' Issues

Informal transport data comes together in SA

October 30th, 2017
WhereIsMyTransport has announced the completion of its largest data collection project to date: the entire informally run public transport network of Gauteng’s Johannesburg, Tshwane, and Ekurhuleni.
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WhereIsMyTransport has announced the completion of its largest data collection project to date – the informally run public transport networks of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni. Home to nearly 13 million people, these sprawling municipalities in South Africa’s Gauteng province represent one of the largest urban regions in Africa.

Informally run minibus taxis serve around 70% of the region’s population. However, little documentation on these services exists. WhereIsMyTransport’s 40 data collectors spent under 6 weeks tracking the networks, collecting 2,813 unique routes, covering 44,352 kms, and finding an average journey cost of R13.13 (0.73 GBP, 0.97 USD).

WhereIsMyTransport has also collected data from the complete informally run public transport networks of Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London and Bloemfontein in 2017. For the first time, access to reliable data from South Africa’s most-used public transport mode is now possible for every major metropolitan region in the country, as well as Gaborone, Botswana.

WhereIsMyTransport CEO Devin de Vries commented: “This data collection milestone is significant not just because of the task of digitalising informally run public transport information in an urban mega region, but because it means that unparalleled public transport data is now available from all of South Africa’s major cities.”

De Vries continued: “This achievement arrives during South Africa’s Transport Month – an initiative which raises awareness of the importance of accessible transport. Improving accessibility is just one of the ways to harness the expansive data reach of WhereIsMyTransport. Our comprehensive data makes us a reliable partner for anyone looking to add value through information from South Africa’s cities.”

The company uses technologies developed in-house which enable data to be reliably collected and verified. This includes a mobile application for capturing route data and information such as on and off-peak timing, common stopping points, fares and frequency. Data collection teams are made up of those who live and work locally, ensuring extensive public transport knowledge and valuable qualitative inputs.

Access to unique public transport data can provide the basis for insight and analysis. Contextual information, such as the public transport stops and route locations, can add value to digital services like maps or on-demand transport. Journey planning services, provided through WhereIsMyTransport’s powerful platform, offer businesses new revenues and/or ridership by providing passengers with valuable information.

Data from the informally run public transport networks of Johannesburg, Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London, Bloemfontein and Gaborone is available now in a range of supported formats. Organisations interested in accessing this data can contact WhereIsMyTransport.

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