WhereIsMyTransport is a technology company that wants to transform the transport sector in Africa, both formal and informal. The South African company specifically wants to collate transit data for formal and informal (ie demand-based and relatively unregulated such as matatu) services, and combine it with analytics capability and communication tools. To quote its site, WhereIsMyTransport wants to ‘turn movement data into accessible, open mobility for cities and citizens alike.’ And the beauty of this? They want to focus on Nairobi Kenya after their hometown, Cape Town.
Other than Ma3Route, there has not been any significant effort in Kenya to collect and use real-time data to effectuate the transport industry. WhereIsMyTransport wants to jump in this poo, but a bit differently. Journey-mapping.
The idea is you can map out your route before your journey, taking into consideration all the variables that come with reliance on public transport which is a big chunk on the African transport industry.
Last week, WhereIsMyTransport launched their transit API (Application Programming Interface) for users, developers and early birds to help build the data that will be part of the core if WhereIsMyTransport. The transit API has been built on Microsoft Azure, leveraging its platform-as-a-service for real-time data operations.
WhereIsMyTransport announced an investment of GBP 1.165 million from Goodwell Investments, Omidyar Network and Horizon Ventures closing a GBP 2 million seed round.
All this means that soon, you will see apps and websites developed for journey-mapping/planning, fare estimation (and perhaps payments), traffic information and analytics as well as city planning and messaging. So far, WhereIsMyTransport has mapped out about 10,000 stops along 40,000 km of routes, by cleaning and plotting half a million data points.
Think of this as the Uber-ization of public transport (read: matatus).
WhereIsMyTransport has covered Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, George and East London in South Africa as well as the new BRT system in Dar Es Salaam and the Cairo Metro. It will start mapping out informal transport systems with the infamous matatu system in Nairobi, Kenya with an outlook to expand to other cities and towns.