Picture: BLOOMBERG
Picture: BLOOMBERG

THE City of Cape Town has launched a mobile transport application which it hopes will make it significantly easier for residents and visitors to move around the city.

The mobile application, developed by software development company ‘Where is My Transport’ at a cost of about R1.5m, will be available for windows phone, iPhone, android powered phones and blackberry.

Cape Town says the application is the first of its kind in Africa.

The application will be able to map out all the different public transport services across the city which includes the MyCiTi bus service, Metrorail, Golden Arrow, the Jammie Shuttle service and city sightseeing buses. It will tell commuters which mode — bus or rail, or combination of the two — to use to reach their destination. The information the application will provide will also include where to find the closest and most convenient stops and stations, the distance to the stop or station and directions for how to get there.

For those using private transport, the application will offer different route options, estimated travel time and inform the user about any matters of concern along the routes such as accidents, road works, detours and traffic delays which may impact on their journey.

Cape Town says it aims to be the first digital city in Africa, and mobile applications such as these will bring it closer to that goal.

Mayor Patricia de Lille said on Monday that the city wants to use technology to improve service delivery, promote transparency and to empower residents to hold authorities accountable.

She said the new mobile application will also empower residents to report transport-related matters such as potholes, faulty traffic lights, flooding, accidents and bad driver behaviour directly to the city. The application will also make taking the MyCiTi bus relatively easier by enabling commuters to locate their closest MyCiTi related services.

Ms de Lille said that a quality public transport system is essential to ensuring that Cape Town reaches its full potential.

"It is essential for ensuring economic growth. It is not merely access to transport," Ms de Lille said.

She added that Cape Town is using its transport authority, Transport for Cape Town (TCT), as the vehicle to deliver its vision of an integrated transport system. The mayor said that commuters will ultimately experience one public transport network that operates in a customer-focused manner where the modes connect in a convenient and sensible way.

Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for transport, roads and stormwater, Brett Herron, said on Monday that the new mobile application was developed with the sole purpose of making the lives of residents easier.

"The TCT app will also assist us in building a well-run and more efficient city, be it through improved public transport services or fixing a traffic light or a pothole," Mr Herron said.

He said the application will also inform users of useful places along the way such as accommodation, restaurants, shopping malls, schools, hospitals, fuelling stations and police stations.

Users with Android phones can download the application from Google Play — search under ‘TCT’; and those with Windows phones can search for the app in the Windows Store, by typing in ‘TCT’.

Users with iPhones should be able to download the TCT app from the App Store within the next 24 hours and those with Blackberry phones should be able to download the app from Blackberry World within the next 48 hours, Mr Herron said.