Improving Rural Mass Transit Information in South Africa – Team Smile

The following guest post comes from Team Smile, a team of finalists for the Imagine Cup Rural Innovation Award from South Africa. Team Smile developed WhereIsMyShuttle?, which uses GPS/GPRS tracking devices fitted to buses to provide daily schedules of bus activities via SMS. The system also provides an automated notification service to alert riders of abnormal bus activities. 

As South Africans, we have been exposed to crime and have seen the impact that it has on our lives and those in our communities. By entering this award, we hope to raise awareness about the problems we are facing with the aim of solving them. Our project reaches a large number of people and has the potential to impact not only South Africa but the African continent as a whole.

Beyond this, our solution is feasible and effective. Its generic structure and use of standard technologies simplifies implementation in various environments. The freedom of movement it provides can now be realised by people from all walks of life.

The WhereIsMyShuttle? project has already entered the commercial phase in its lifecycle and is currently being tested on a provincial level within South Africa. For it to become a success, we will need to seek out funding in order to allow further development and full implementation of the product.

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