Ahmed Nashaat: Transport for Cairo to Improve Commutes

The group’s goal is to map both the city’s formal and informal public transit systems to save commuters time and reduce the stress they experience.

Cairo, Egypt (PRUnderground) April 14th, 2017

Transport for Cairo, also known as TfC, is a group of young professionals who are striving to make commuters lives easier in the Egyptian city of Cairo during rush hour. The group’s goal is to map both the city’s formal and informal public transit systems to save commuters time and reduce the stress they experience when getting from point A to point B in a municipal region featuring 20 million people.

So far, TfC has created and published the data required for developers to put together an app for planning trips, as well as other tools. To collect data regarding buses run by the city government, which have about 500 routes, the group relied on the World Bank. Then, the group, which includes people with backgrounds in areas such as civil engineering and urban planning, asked university students and the general public to help to verify the data by sending them photographs of buses near their offices and homes that had been geotagged. Through this method, the group was able to verify 20 bus lines based on 750 pictures.

The group shared their data in community workshops designed to unite student designers and professionals to create maps. Up to now, the Cairo community has been able to develop a few versions of transit system maps, with the workshop participants tackling issues such as whether the maps should be schematic or geographically schematic, or how people could locate their destinations and themselves.

TfC has also begun to ride the city’s microbuses and track their journeys using their cell phones’ GPS feature, just as Columbia University and MIT researchers did when attempting to map Nairobi, Kenya’s privately owned minibus. Right now, community through Cairo is generally considered a miserable experience, but through its efforts, TfC hopes it will be able to change that.

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