Smart apps to bridge gaps in City transport

One of the ways they found was creating smart phone applications (apps) dedicated to the most chaotic aspect of Bangalore - the transport system. Volvos in the city provided an easy target audience for creating a mobile phone application. Similarly, the Metro has three apps dedicated to it.

A search of Bangalore on the Android Market website will yield a result of 249 applications, a majority being free and catering to transport services from autorickshaws to buses and Metro.

The recently updated Metro app (on October 29) is named Namma Metro and is gaining huge popularity on the internet, especially social networking sites. Created by Avinash Reddy and Vamshi Reddy, the app is one of the two most popular apps gaining a rating of 3.9 out of 5. The other - being rated 4.2 - is ‘Bangalore Metro Navigator’ by Tilzmathic Tech, which has also created apps for Metro in Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai (for local trains). Both have jointly received about 500 downloads in the last one week.

Trend catching up

The trend of creating and using apps for using public transport is fast catching up in the city, comments Kirubakaran S, creator of the first ever mobile app for BMTC bus services - ‘Bangalore City Transit’ - released in March 2011. Four more apps for bus services in the city have been created by others.

“Currently, most apps are static with textual information which is picked up from officials and websites. So, it is just a compilation. With simple programming, I made the BMTC app in 20 days,” he said.

An employee of a startup software company, 22-year-old Kirubakaran said that a majority of Bangaloreans who are tech savvy own a smartphone with a touch screen.

“But this poses a great problem as most apps are for Android system phones. Iphones are being bought by the hour and to create an app to suit all smartphones is very difficult,” he said. He looks at the concept of cloud computing so that every app supports every phone.
Kirubakaran has a greater plan to create an app, wherein all forms of transport are linked to provide real time updates of public transport to users.

He hopes to bring out his next app by March with the help of BMTC and a few advertisers.
“From Metro to buses and then cabs and autorickshaws, the application will help the users from the moment they leave home till they return,” he said.

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