Making sense of the city’s traffic chaos

Public transport app adapts quickly to changes

March 28, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:34 am IST - CHENNAI:

smart commute:The app developed at IIT-Madras Research Park has been downloaded over 7,500 times —Photo: M. Karunakaran

smart commute:The app developed at IIT-Madras Research Park has been downloaded over 7,500 times —Photo: M. Karunakaran

Rapid changes in the location of bus shelters, bus routes and traffic diversions have started posing challenges to public transport mobile apps that offer information on buses and trains. As many major apps do not have up-to-date information, local apps are getting popular.

Many bus shelters have recently been changed by the Corporation following a Supreme Court verdict. MTC also changed the route numbers in 2015. CMRL has effected traffic diversions along many bus routes. Popular apps do not reflect all such changes because many of the changes are likely to be temporary.    

Raft, a public transport mobile app, developed by a group of researchers from IIT-M Research Park has recorded as many as 7,500 downloads this year, owing to its ability to cope with civic changes. The team comprises Akhilesh Koppineni, Krishna Chaitanya and Siddharth Krishnaswamy. 

“Finding the latitude and longitude of real bus stops may be challenging owing to such changes. It is a challenge to commuters also. We are actively improving by capturing changes in bus routes,” said Siddharth.

 “We have a dedicated team on the ground to capture any route changes that occur. For instance, last month several bus route numbers changed. We had to work hard to capture them on the same day in our app,” said Akhilesh.

“We launched the app in the last week of December. We have seen good engagement from users,” Siddharth added.

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