As part of measures to make public commuting easier and accessible, operators of the Lagos Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Franchise, Primero Transport Services Limited, has introduced a mobile app, the Lagos BRT app, that will enable commuters to search for the next available bus, identify the nearest bus top and pick a favourable destination route from the convenience of their phones.
According to the app owners, the Lagos BRT app for ensuring that commuters have “access to the live data of bus stops and never miss a connection again.” “You always have the live departure times of Lagos’ buses right in your pocket.,” they say.
The app has 4 distinct features. The Near me feature will allow you to see the closest bus stop to your physical location. Perhaps, if you have been in an unknown area in Lagos and you have had to ask around for the latest BRT bus-stop, this will be of value to you next time.
The map feature will allow you See the overall transport pattern all over the state and conveniently identify the closest to you. You can also use this feature to select a convenient route i.e. your preferred pick-up location and destination.
The Journey feature will allow you do a customized search of the next available bus using your location and destination details. Thi is just like an airline booking design.
The picks feature details your customized schedule. From one location, you can view your selected routes, buses, time and payment details. Here, you can also edit your schedule as you please.
Other key features include direct access to live data live departure times and updated additional information for all lines of a bus stop.
BRT is Experiencing Some Positive Changes
Over time, the BRT Scheme in Lagos has experienced some immense improvements that are worthy of note. Recall that LAMATA proposed a central bus terminal for Ikeja. The terminal which is soon to be completed will have the following features: Loading and alighting areas for 30 harmonised routes, space for about 200 medium and high capacity buses, waiting area, mechanical workshop, refuse house, water treatment plant house and diesel/Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, storage tank.
We today launched The LAMATA Place, Ojota BRT Depot, ITS Centre (Intelligent Transport System) and our BRT E-Ticketing system. pic.twitter.com/SMQH6hEGEC
— Akinwunmi Ambode (@AkinwunmiAmbode) November 9, 2017
Also, the operators of the Lagos Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system introduced a free internet access on board to its customers on its fleet of buses. This service relied on the GO Spot network. GO Spot is a free, reliable and easy to use supported wifi service provided in high cluster locations as a social amenity and aims at making daily living more pleasant and productive.
Just that you know, the BRT scheme has conveyed about 60 million passengers since its completion in 2015. The BRT extension from Mile 12- Ikorodu Town, for instance, is designed to convey an estimated 300,000 passengers daily using 434 high capacity buses with an average of 10 minutes headway frequency.The BRT system has also generated over 1,500 direct and 3,000 indirect employment opportunities.
While the creation of the app is indeed a right step in the digitization of the bus system, it appears that the pains of commuters have not been significantly eased. The first is real-time synchronization. How certain the time indicated on the app?
And, their feedbacks indicate that the problem really is with the human element in the system: drivers, ticket sellers etc. These people determine the efficiency of the system to a significant extent. How much training and motivation has been employed to ensure these employees’ buy-in and cooperation?
Finally, in my experience at least, I realised that the app does not always deliver.
For a first version, this is a good development. IT is now left for the owners to secure commuters confider by ensuring that the app is efficient and ensure that the staff are in sync with the advancement. Perhaps, the app can do more than what it is presently designed to do. Maybe, it can be used to sell tickets, determine seats, reward customers etc.
This way, the app will be more than a monitoring tool.
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