Transport maestros untangle Cape Town’s spaghetti maze of minibus taxi routes
Dave Chambers | 2017-02-07 14:55:53.0
The WhereIsMyTransport platform has added the routes to its formal public transport maps. File photo.
Image by: SIPHIWE SIBEKO
Mapping minibus taxis is probably like herding cats‚ but a Cape Town company has pulled it off.
Three weeks of effort by 13 data collectors covered 657 routes and 13‚000km. The map they have produced includes the 137 busiest taxi routes.
The WhereIsMyTransport platform has added the routes to its formal public transport maps‚ claiming Cape Town is the first city in the world to have its entire transport system captured and openly available.
Co-founder Devin De Vries said: “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.”
East London and Gaborone are next on De Vries’s mapping schedule‚ followed by Port Elizabeth‚ Durban‚ Johannesburg‚ Tshwane‚ Ekurhuleni and Bloemfontein. It wants to map 20 African cities by the end of 2018.
Data collection co-ordinator Graeme Leighton said lack of information about public transport options was a critical problem for commuters.
“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.”
A number of companies had expressed interested in developing apps using the data‚ said Leighton.
Link to full set of maps is here.
– TMG Digital/TimesLIVE