Google in collaboration with Digital Matatus has finally launched a Google Transit in Nairobi city, a feature in Google Maps, which helps people plan public transport easily.
The system will provide Kenyans; out-of-town visitors and tourists with opportunity to get instant access to useful information on buses and matatus within their respective areas as well as public transit directions.
Charles Murito, Google Country Manager, said this will enable people searching for directions within Nairobi to have the option of planning their trips around the capital.
He said public transportation routes will be made available online as alternatives to driving and walking directions.
“Time is a limited resource and launching Google Transit in Nairobi is part of our effort to make Google Maps more comprehensive, accurate and useful for people within the city who take buses and matatus to their next destination. It is therefore our hope that by integrating bus and matatu stops, routes, number, schedules and up-to-date fare information, we will make it a little easier for Nairobians as well as out-of-town visitors -including tourists visiting Nairobi for the first time – to plan their next trip quickly and effectively” said Murito,.
Google Transit is free service available on Google Maps in the web browser, as well as Google Maps for mobile on Android and iOS platforms.
3.5 million people depend on matatus every day in Nairobi but have little information on the over 130 different routes.
” Providing this information on Google increases accessibility to the transit system. This work also acts a model for creating information on public transport for cities across Africa where people depend on matatu-like systems. Perhaps more importantly this essential data is now available for transportation planning initiatives in a city which struggles with congestion.“ says Sarah Williams from the Digital Matatus Team.