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When Ventureburn wrote about mobi.lity earlier this year, we learned about its successful pitch to Western Cape transport agency, Metrorail, for its prototype railway information portal, Metrorail.mobi
As part of the region’s ‘Programme of Action’ (PoA) service improvement initiative, Metrorail has now officially adopted the service and rebranded it as Go Metro.
Go Metro wil roll out in two phases. The initial service provides train timetables, schedule changes, service updates and other news to commuters; the final phase will provide real-time, up to the minute train schedules and associated platform changes.
In its current state, Go Metro provides commuters with easy-to-use train schedules, a trip planner and fare calculator. General information like route maps, terms & conditions of travel, tourist & business services are also available. The site is regularly updated with changes to the scheduled service, reflects average delays per service corridor and provides the daily maintenance programme.
Mthuthuzeli Swartz, Metrorail regional manager, says a recent survey showed that 92% of regional rail commuters have mobile phones and can benefit from this new service. “Whether at home, work, in a train or at a station, customers now have instant access to information,” says Swartz.
In addition to being a mobile travel companion, Go Metro provides added value services, in the form of news and entertainment content.
Justin Coetzee, founder of Go Metro, believes that Go Metro brings Metrorail Western Cape up to parity with transportation services in other parts of the world. The next few months will provide commuters with the opportunity to test the service in its current format. Coetzee says his team welcomes feedback to enable them to improve the final product. Commuters are encouraged to get in touch via the Feedback channel.
Coetzee told Ventureburn that as a regular Metrorail commuter himself, he was frustrated by the lack of a mobile tool that would tell him when the next train would arrive: “Since there was no mobile tool in the market to provide this type of information, my team and I developed it ourselves. The final product will provide real-time Metrorail train departure times to smartphones and feature phones.”
Go Metro will work on the majority of phones with internet access and it is also available as a Mxit app.
The fully-fledged service is scheduled to be ready early 2013.