Mobility and Access in African Cities: Nairobi Transit directions now available on Google Maps

On 26 August 2015 Google and Digital Matatus, a consortium that includes  the VREF Center for Sustainable Urban Development (CSUD), the C4D Lab at the University of Nairobi, Civic Data Design Lab at MIT and Groupshot, launched the very first transit feature for Nairobi on Google Maps

"So many of our problems in developing cities where you have extreme poverty and awful environmental conditions—they’re always tied in some way to the transport sector,” University of California, Berkeley Professor Bob Cervero told the internet magazine Wired which covered the launch. “It’s very chaotic and unmanaged, so this is a huge first step towards enhancing those services.”

The feature allows Nairobi resident and guests of the city to plan their route with Google Maps on public transport. This is the first time semi-formal minibus (matatu) systems have appeared on Google Maps.The Digital Matatus project builds on CSUD's VREF funded work around improving public transport in Nairobi. The project involved using cellphones to collect data for routes and stops for the Nairobi transit system to create high quality open data that has been used extensively by planners, tech entrepreneurs and the government.  “There were all these transportation projects going on, but it was shocking that there was no basic data about the existing transit system in Nairobi.” says, Jacqueline Klopp from CSUD. 


More information:

Title:       Nairobi Transit directions now available on Google Maps

Issued by:   Google and Wired

Released:   26 August  2015

Link to the extended articles:

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