Zimbabwe Digital News
TravelPall is an emergent BEE company with a vision to deliver service solutions in the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) transport industry in South Africa.
Millions of people in South Africa use public transport to get to and from work, school or events, and there are always challenges in the efficient provision of commuter services.
“We identified points of constant concern for hundreds of commuters in what seemed to be a perfect system. We as TravelPall took it upon ourselves to find workable solutions. We then approached MyCiti in Cape Town as well as A Re Yeng in Tshwane, and proposed to implement, not only solutions, but drive innovations in urban transport systems,” said Phillip Gwatidzo, Chief Operations Officer of TravelPall
TravelPall is a cashless, queue-free solution to the current BRT systems in South Africa.
The digital innovations company then developed a mobile application designed to allow commuters to purchase points packages, as well as load cash on their cards, that allow them to travel in South Africa’s BRT systems (eg My Citi, A Re Yeng, Rea Vaya), regardless of which metro the commuter lives in.
“We conducted research in the Cape Town metropolitan city, and concluded that commuters are spending an average of 45 minutes in queues, waiting to load their cards, and an additional 20 minutes in queues, waiting to board the buses. Therein lay opportunity for innovation,” said Gwatidzo.
Clive Volkwyn, Chief Executive Officer of TravelPall said that Cape Town had since added additional buses to ease up on the waiting for commuters, but in the meantime this was the perfect opportunity for TravelPall to unveil long-term solutions to the predicament.
“We are happy to be working with such young innovative engineers and software developers in this project,” Volkwyn said.
A boost for million of bus commuters
During the research the company noted that the points of sale for loading cards were limited, especially in high density areas and townships. There was very minimal options for customers to load their cards, and be able to travel without any stress.
Because of this, a significant number of commuters would opt for an alternative methods of transport, such as taxis, trains or cab services.
TravelPall is of the view that their innovation will benefit both the public and commuters, as well as metro municipalities who will get brand value with this new app and service, saving everyone valuable time.
Cape Town, Tshwane, Greater Johannesburg, and Durban will benefit in TravelPall whereby the app will attract commuters who have been driven away by queuing, to return and make use of the system due to ease of access, thereby scoring a massive boost for South Africa’s BRT systems and public transport in general.
“Our service will also put South Africa on the world map to compete with first world countries by enhancing the services within the public transport system,” Gwatidzo said.
TravelPall has been working with the City of Cape Town and the City Of Tshwane as well as ABSA to deliver this service, and the company applauded all parties for the dedication they had shown to date.
“Our mission is to prove that no matter the size of a company, or its years in business, our innovation will prove to be a massive boost, not only for the millions of public transport commuters in the country, but could be the evolution of the transport industry itself.
“Many had advised us to give up the chase and walk away, but we believe that a solution of this magnitude is a necessity and should be seen through,” Volkwyn said.
The technical phase for TravelPall is being completed, currently TravelPall is working on integrating systems needs, and a thorough testing phase will follow to ensure that the service is as seamless as possible, with an anticipated launch of the first phase by April 2018.
There are at least six BRT Systems in South Africa. Myciti bus service (Cape Town), Rea Vaya bus service (Johannesburg), A Re Yeng bus service (Tshwane), Muvo bus service (Durban), GoGeorge bus service(George), Harambee bus service ( city of Ekurhuleni)
“We are hoping to see the railway systems and other bus services such as Golden Arrow and Tshwane bus services join the contactless smart card system allowing TravelPall to deliver this seamless, time saving dervice to an even broader audience,” Gwatidzo said.
To follow TravelPall like their “Facebook/TravelPall” or follow on Twitter @TravelPall.
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