WhereIsMyTransport maps out urban future

Tech start-up says it will be emerging world's 'citymapper' by 2023
Classification & Data Collection / September 17, 2020
By Adam Hill
Mexico City (© WhereIsMyTransport)
Mexico City is among the conurbations whose networks have been mapped (© WhereIsMyTransport)

WhereIsMyTransport says it is on course to map public transport networks in 30 of the world's biggest cities over the next three years.

The tech start-up, which received funding from both Google and Toyota Tsusho this year, has mapped one million kilometres of formal and informal networks worldwide so far.

Digitalising transport - particularly the 'informal' networks such as commuter minibuses which are vital in many cities - will be of considerable benefit to local economies.

CEO Devin de Vries says: "The production and maintenance of this mobility data is a fundamental first step towards transforming the public transport experience for hundreds of millions of people, and with it the social, cultural and economic landscape of these cities."

The firm began collecting public transport data in emerging markets in 2015, concentrating on the thousands of routes and vehicles owned and run by independent operators, which are effectively unmapped and offline. 

Most recently, WhereIsMyTransport mapped - and now maintains datasets for - the public transport networks in Mexico City, Dhaka (capital of Bangladesh), and the province of Gauteng in South Africa - metro areas with a combined population of more than 55 million. 

The company will collect public transport information in another 27 cities, of which 19 are megacities with populations greater than 10 million, including Bangkok and Rio de Janeiro.

To do this, it uses local teams of data collectors on the ground who map entrances, exits, stairs, gates and platforms at stations and interchanges. 

“We manage and maintain our data, updating it weekly, and integrating it with consumer products and planning tools that support a better public transport experience for everyone, everywhere," insists de Vries.

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