Posted on April 18, 2016
Two former University of Pretoria (UP) students, Tyler Hoffman and Unathi Chonco, have launched an app for public transport navigation which they believe will change public transport in South Africa.
The app, Transit Wise, shows users all the necessary steps to get from Point A to Point B and includes features such as information on the duration and cost of the journey. Hoffman and Chonco believe that this will encourage more people to use public transport, which will result in a large-scale reform of transit systems and will have a direct impact on communities. 'We hope to bring about a major reform in public transport as we know it. These systems can be really useful if maintained and used properly,' said Chonco.
Hoffman and Chonco, who currently reside in Silicon Valley in California, realised their shared passion for programming when they met at Pretoria Boys' High School. In their Grade 11 year, they won an app development competition and proceeded to develop another app for android and iPhone devices in their first year at UP.
Currently Transit Wise is available only in Gauteng, but plans are underway to extend it to the rest of the country. According to Mail & Guardian, Gauteng will have a population of 18.6 million in 25 years, of which 8.9 million will be workers who will have to travel to and from work each workday. The South African government aims to relieve the anticipated burden on the roads by delivering expanded and sustainable public transport by 2020. The app, which is available free of charge from the Apple App Store, appears to have been developed at a crucial time for public transport, which makes it a potentially lucrative invention.
This article first appeared in Perdeby on 11 April 2016.
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