News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Friday August 23rd 2019

App puts journey in your pocket

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille shows off the new transport app. Photo: Bruce Sutherland/City of Cape Town


Information on public transport system for Capetonians and visitors on the move is now available at their fingertips following the City of Cape Town’s launch of their public transport mobile application – the first of its kind in Mzantsi, or Africa, it is claimed.

The mobile app – which cost the City R1.5million to develop – puts everything commuters need for an easy journey in their pocket. This include maps of all scheduled public transport services across the city, which includes MyCiTi bus service, Metrorail, University of Cape Town’s Jammie shuttle service, the city sightseeing buses, and Golden Arrow Bus Service (GABS).

The app has been developed for Windows, iPhone, Android and Blackberry operating systems.

Speaking at the launch of the app on Monday this week (20 October), city mayco member for transport, Brett Herron, said the app will inform users which public transport mode would be best to reach their destination.

Herron said the listwould incude options for the various public transport operations in their vicinity, where to find the closest and most convenient stops and stations, the distance to the stop or station and the route there, the departure and arrival times, estimated cumulative cost for the entire journey, and the estimated duration of the journey inclusive of the time it would take to walk to the nearest stop.

The app also provides users with useful information such as accommodation, restaurants, shopping malls, schools, hospitals, fueling stations and police stations, said Herron.

“It can find places of interest close to you and keep you informed of these en route. Once residents get the hang of it, they will not only use the app to move around the city, but also to explore their city.”

Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille said the app will also enable MyCiTi bus commuters to locate their nearest MyConnect outlet for MyCiTi-related services, such as card top-up, mover packages, and MyConnect card sales.

“The city’s goal is to be the first digital city in Africa, and mobile applications such as these bring us closer to making that a reality,” said de Lille.

Frequent MyCiTi user Meisie-Makuwa Mpukane, a community leader in Du Noon, said while the app development was a good thing, it left out people who could not afford to own smartphones.

“Its good for people who have money and can afford to buy smartphones and data bundles. It appears Cape Town for transport targets the affluent people not the disadvantaged,” said Mpukane.

The app is for free of charge but to it is about an 8.3MB download, said Herron.

But like many other apps, it needs data bundles to function. —Peter Luhanga


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