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Cape Town transport network mapping a world first

Cape Town transport networkCAPE TOWN, (CAJ News) – SOUTH Africa’s Cape Town is the first city in the world to have its entire formal and informally-run public transport networks fully mapped.
This follows the announcement by WhereIsMyTransport that data for the entire public transport network of the coastal resort city is now available through its platform. WhereIsMyTransport is a transport technology company unlocking the potential of public transport in emerging economies.
To celebrate the achievement attained in Cape Town, the company has created a map of the city’s most active informally-run taxi routes, visualising data from the transport information company’s open platform.
This platform has been created to allow developers, transport operators and government officials to build solutions, such as journey planners, fare estimators, communications tools and connected digital signage, that improve access to public transport information for citizens in emerging cities, as well as to provide insight and analytics to aid city planning.
WhereIsMyTransport’s 13 local data collectors spent under three weeks recording taxi journeys in Cape Town, mapping 657 unique routes covering 8 870 kms, and capturing 1 482 of the most commonly used stops, with an average journey cost of R10,86 ($0,80).
These data points have been added to the WhereIsMyTransport platform alongside data for the city’s formal transport network to provide a complete picture of all of the transport options available to residents of the city.
Devin De Vries, co-founder of WhereIsMyTransport, said fully mapping Cape Town was a phenomenal achievement for the team.
“We’ve demonstrated that complex transport systems can be mapped at a much lower cost than many cities believe. With our efficient technology and methodology, even large cities don’t need to spend millions to map their networks.,’ said De Vries.
He disclosed they had already mapped two more cities – East London in South Africa and Gaborone, Botswana- and will be releasing data for South Africa’s major metros this year.
“And that’s just the beginning: we’re excited by the potential for cities across Africa.”
WhereIsMyTransport will continue collecting taxi network data in South Africa’s major cities including Port Elizabeth, Durban, Johannesburg, Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, and Bloemfontein, all due to be complete by mid-2017.
The company is in discussion with cities and local partners with the intention of fully mapping 20 African cities by the end of 2018.
It already holds data on informally-run networks in Accra, Ghana, and Nairobi, Kenya.
Graeme Leighton, data collection co-ordinator for WhereIsMyTransport, believes the information challenge in South African cities undermines infrastructure.
“We want to make the systems that exist more accessible for everyone. In Cape Town, every assumption we had about the network was challenged. We discovered dozens of previously unknown routes, and found many documented routes no longer operated,” said Leighton.
Fondly known as the Mother City, Cape Town is the second-most populous urban area in South Africa (443 000, SA census 2011) after Johannesburg. As the seat of the Parliament of South Africa, it is also the legislative capital of the country.
CAJ News

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