Here's an app to keep track of suburban trains in real time

Here's an app to keep track of suburban trains in real time

With the extending tentacles of the suburban rail network, techies and rail enthusiasts have made their own contribution to the fledgling commuting culture.

Thanks to them, those using the rail network can now track trains real-time and find means of getting rides or rentals from each station with a few swipes on their smartphone screens.

The idea for an app came about when activist R J Pradeep met Rakesh Tergundi, founder and CEO of Mobijini, at a campaign seeking more train services. Tergundi's company offered the technical services to create RailJini, which is currently available in Google Playstore and will soon find its way into iOS.

Picking up the user's location, the app informs him or her about the nearest available railway station and trains in different routes.

"It relies on crowdsourcing to provide accurate information on the status of a train," said Suhas Narayanamurthy, a techie who runs a Facebook campaign 'Try the trains'. "Users can share information on the virtual chat-room window that would enrich the app."

While the app is dovetailed with Google Maps to let users make queries about the nearest station, developers said they are talking to cab aggregators for a similar integration. "No decision has been made yet during those talks," Narayanamurthy said.

Tergundi said RailJini will complement the official 'NTES' app. "It won't collect the user's personal information," he said. "The location information is sourced only if the user shares it voluntarily."

A similar attempt to use smartphones to track suburban trains was made last year when the railways booked a case against some commuters and slapped a fine following a flash protest against the delay of the Yeshwantpur-Hosur train and for blocking the train for nearly an hour.

Techies then formed a group called 'TrainSpotters' on the Telegram app to exchange information on the trains' location. Nearly 4,800 members in the app get the arrival and departure details of the trains in each station.

 

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