SA’s Startup GoMetro Is Taking on The $10 Billion Transport Mapping Market

GoMetro App is helping transport regulators to collect and analyse operations, evaluate new supply, understand operator business cases or levels of affectedness. Infrastructure planners can assess infrastructure adequacy in rank and link.

Nigel Zhuwaki, Senior Project Manager at GoMetro
Nigel Zhuwaki, Senior Project Manager at GoMetro

The geographic information system (GIS) market was valued at $5.33 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach $10.12 billion by 2023, according  to the new market research report “Geographic Information System (GIS) Market.

The factors driving the market include the development of smart cities and urbanization, integration of geospatial technology with mainstream technologies for business intelligence, and growing adoption of GIS solutions in transportation.

The mapping function held the largest market size in terms of value, according to research firm Markets & Markets.

Whether you’re in Ghana where the trotos’s are, on a jitney in the Philippines or in a sometimes ironically named ‘car rapide’ in Senegal, there’s no escaping the fact that informal transport exists in every major city in the world.

Even more intriguingly, the innovation and agility displayed in these emerging markets have begun to influence the way developed transport systems in the USA and Europe alike – in a concept called “Mobility-as-a-Service”.

The transport mapping and data collection market is dominated by big players and really tough to penetrate and startups shy away from venturing into this industry.

But there are always disruptors willing to take risk and one up and comer is GoMetro, an innovative mobility startup that aims to deliver its transport mapping and data collection solutions to untapped informal transport networks.

GoMetro Pro provides realtime data that helps cities, planners and operators to optimize their transport networks efficiently to be able to digitize complex and chaotic informal transport systems on the ground.

The Cape Town-based company has partnered with international technology distribution and development firm, GMG Technology to launch the transport mapping and data collection platform, GoMetro Pro, to the global markets through a distribution, product development and internationalization agreement.

The GoMetro Pro is an  app that can overhaul informal public transport systems (and has been doing it for some time) in as little as a month using on-the-ground, real-time data without much more than the app and a smartphone.


How does it work?

The latest review of Cape Town’s Comprehensive Integrated Transport Plan (CITP) using GoMetro Pro estimated that there were about 23 758 minibus taxi vehicles registered as of May 2015.

This mode of informal transport provide connections between various origin and destination pairs within the City, and it is estimated that there are around 800 routes carrying approximately 556 720 passengers per day. Due to the informal nature of their services, it is difficult to know exactly how many routes or passengers are utilizing this type of mode, and therefore it is very difficult to plan or regulate this mode – until now.

Justin Coetzee, GoMetro CEO
Justin Coetzee, GoMetro CEO

“Thanks to our partnership with GMG Technology and their deep experience and know-how in the distribution and development of enterprise software for the international market, GoMetro Pro has a self-service platform – so users anywhere in the world can log in and build their own projects themselves,” says CEO and GoMetro founder Justin Coetzee. ​

“Better data management from something like the GoMetro Pro app leads to better regulation, which leads to better licensing and planning. This in turn leads to better operations and better passenger information available, which means better revenues and profits for the owners. Everybody wins. »

Because the system works with the data that’s there on the ground, no matter how chaotic, you can turn any unscheduled, highly informal transport system in any country into one that’s scheduled, on-demand and thus convenient, and fully operational in real time.

It may well be the great equalizer of public transport systems worldwide, lessening the gap between ‘developing’ and ‘developed’ with just one platform.

Recently Transitec, an international transport planning firm, together with France’s Agence Française de Développement, used GoMetro Pro to do onboard data collection in Tunis for their transport systems. Comprehensive data was able to be harvested from 25 stations throughout the city, using GPS tracking and economical analysis.

More than 50 routes and 6 kilometers’ worth of data were harvested across multiple vehicles, as well as the ‘mapping’ of both drivers and passengers using qualitative interviews, cellphones, mappers and other technology to get authentic on-the-street information.

Rollout and implementation of system improvements and upgrades were ready in just four short weeks, meaning that all that was required was police authorization, and the Tunisian government had a new and improved way for busses to move in just a month.

GoMetro Pro will create a wealth of data and the means to put it to use – not just for civil engineers or town planning authorities, but anyone who downloads the rider app.

Even better, people worldwide will have access immediately.

“The software will be available globally from 15 May to be used by anyone who downloads the app, whether they are in Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America or anywhere else in the world where informal transport networks are dominant” promised Coetzee.


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