Taking the temperature of public transport in Cape Town with the new GoMetro Transport API
GoMetro launches Open Data Public Transport API for Cape Town with Accessibility Score, Multimodal Journey Planner and Metrorail Line Updates
Public transport is an essential service, enabling citizens and visitors to fully participate in the opportunities of city life. Good public transport is freedom of movement. However, in South Africa it has been very challenging to evaluate the quality of public transport service. Also affected is the quality of opportunities within a city. That changes today with the release of a new method to score public transport performance by means of our API. The Transport API provides advanced data analytics of the Cape Town public transport network.
For the last 5 years, GoMetro has been working on improving the way cities in South Africa move. We improved the transport information available to commuters and city officials. GoMetro has collected the largest transport database in South Africa – with the largest public transport mapping projects – by geography, intensity and number of participating vehicles from 2015 to date. GoMetro has helped public transport providers improve their customer communications on real-time delays, share schedule information and measure what transport is available in a particular area. Also, we have helped hundreds of thousands of commuters get to work safely – most notably through our Email-Your-Boss button on the GoMetro app for rail. Our work has always been focused on assisting public sector agencies and professional transport planners – as well as the man on the street waiting for his train.
Some facts about the GoMetro Transport API
- Number of cities fully supported in the transport API at launch: 1
- Number of modes supported in the transport API at launch: 4
- Total KM of transport: 482 427
- Number of stopping times: 477 480
- Total number of trips: 23 110
- Number of stop locations: 10 111
- Total number of routes: 2 500
We reach out to the software development community – with the release of the GoMetro Transport API – free for developers, for life. We are starting with a release of full coverage of Cape Town, with datasets for the over 200 local municipalities in South Africa planned for inclusion in the next release.
The Transport API documentation can be found at the following link: http://proserver.gometro.co.za/api/v1/docs/#introduction
Developers can request access at: http://www.getgometro.com/api/
The GoMetro transport API contains information for the following modes of transport: MyCiti BRT, Golden Arrow municipal bus services, Metrorail, and all minibus-taxis in Cape Town. All routes, trips, stop locations and stop times are searchable and available to build new applications with.
All the routes for Metrorail in the Western Cape:
All the stops along a particular minibus taxi route:
Accessibility Score for South African Cities
This is not just a transport API of routes, schedules and trips – we have decided to go further than information infrastructure and provide transport analytics tools for anyone to study how cities are doing in providing fair access to opportunities. At the same time as this transport API announcement, we are very proud to release the GoMetro Accessibility Score Tool – which we hope will change our understanding of public transport quality in South African cities.
The GoMetro Accessibility Score is a major step forward in the way cities are planned and public transport is evaluated. Most noteworthy, the tool looks at any address in a city, and produces a score out of 100 based on availability. Thereafter the reach and options of public transport routes within a known distance from an address is calculated. We have adopted 800m as the National Department of Transport’s acceptable walking distance parameter in our standard analysis setting.
For instance, the Bandwidth Barn at 66 Albert Road, Woodstock is where GoMetro started. Young people looking to start a business with limited funds need good public transport services to access business opportunities. On the other side of Cape Town sits Tygerberg Hospital – the Western Cape Province’s largest public hospital and a very important healthcare facility for thousands of citizens. The largest amount of these patients will use public transport to access the hospital, especially for day services or to collect vital prescriptions. Both facilities have critical accessibility requirements – but how is each facility doing with regards to public transport accessibility?
Using the GoMetro Accessibility Tool through our Transport API
The Bandwidth Barn scores 85 out of 100, on the API. This is consequently a very high score, and largely due to every mode serving within the 800m radius of the Barn. The same settings on the GoMetro Accessibility Score gives Tygerberg Hospital a score of 17 out of 100, resulting in one of the lowest for a major facility in Cape Town. Despite the hospital being relatively close to Bellville train station and major bus and taxi routes, GoMetro’s data shows that there is a need to improve public transport access to Tygerberg Hospital – especially in the critical “last-mile” to the hospital where walking distances are too great to be considered accessible.
Any address in Cape Town can now be scored using the GoMetro Transport API. Most of all, this is where the power of the algorithm that GoMetro has developed will be seen. Imagine if every school, hospital, university, clinic, grant payment point, jobs centre, park and public beach could be scored. The consequent rating will provide insights regarding how accessible it is by public transport.
Using the link below, developers will be able to pull all transport stops and routes that pass within 800m of the Bandwidth Barn, as well as the Access Score itself.
Using the link below, developers will be able to pull all transport stops and routes that pass within 800m of the Tygerberg Hospital.
You can change the co-ordinates and the radius of the search in the URL address bar to score any point in the Cape Town area, allowing the unlocking of every address in Cape Town to be objectively understood and improved. That is what GoMetro stands for – the improvement of public transport through better data collection, analysis and decision-making.
Line Updates for Metrorail
In 2014, San Francisco, GoMetro was awarded with Best Innovation in a Growth Market Prize. The prize was provided by the Global Mobile Forum for the provision of real-time line updates for Metrorail in Cape Town using a novel technology pioneered in-house. These updates are a key part of the app, gometro.co.za, which provides an accurate reflection on real-time train delays across South Africa. The Metrorail Line Updates tool is now available in GoMetro’s Transport API for inclusion in new applications or tools.
All the line updates for Metrorail in the Western Cape:
Multimodal Journey Planner
Developers will be able to create multimodal journeys between any points in Cape Town. This is achievable by putting together Bus, Train, BRT and minibus taxi trip-chains. Just enter origin, destination and travel time. Afterwards you will be provided with all the public transport options between those two points at your selected travel time.
The GoMetro Transport API will help us reach a wider audience and improve the way African Cities move. We are building a developer community, to help bring new solutions to cities across the developing world.
So – what will you build?