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Stories about mobility and Majority-World megacities.

At WhereIsMyTransport, we believe that public transport has an essential role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and local emissions, and improving quality of life. We encourage urban citizens to continue to use public transport, improving the experience through access to better information. Our CEO Devin de Vries recently wrote about sustainability’s central role in our mission in Reuters Sustainable Business.

The stakes are high. Transport is the world’s fourth-biggest emitting sector of greenhouse gases, yet sales of fuel-guzzling SUVs continue to rise around the world. As incomes rise for the world’s 3.2 billion emerging-markets urban residents, more people…

Minibus taxis in Johannesburg, South Africa

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted public transport systems around the world, cutting into ridership and revenue, even as essential workers — and entire economies — continue to depend on reliable service.

Developed-market commuters have generally received swift updates on changes as public transport agencies cut back services or rearrange bus routes to respond to shifting demand. However, as we note in our recent feature in Digitalisation World, service updates are harder to come by in emerging-market cities. 92% of the world’s largest lower-middle income cities lack full public transport network maps, let alone data on frequencies or fare levels.


Mexico City Metro

You may not have known that Mexico City, home to Latin America’s largest and oldest metro system, also boasts an extensive network of informal modes — known locally as colectivos — that has more than ten times as many routes. If you didn’t know that, you’re not alone — until 2018, no one in the world did.

That’s because no one had mapped all 2,000+ routes in the network. The system exists entirely organically, run by independent private operators.

Mexico City is one of the Majority-World megacities where WhereIsMyTransport offers accurate and reliable mobility data from the complete public transport…

In a recent article for Dataversity, our CEO Devin de Vries argues that the common model of informal public transport in the Majority World can improve mobility in developed-market cities as well.

The Majority World is an alternative term for developing countries. We like it here at WhereIsMyTransport because it reveals an important truth: Most urban-dwellers live in places that are very different from London, Paris, or New York. Some 3.2 billion people live in Majority-World cities — places like Rio de Janeiro, Kampala, and Bangkok.

In the Majority World, public transport is mostly informal. Private operators run 12- to…

Devin de Vries is CEO and co-founder of WhereIsMyTransport. He spoke with Joe Peach, our Communications Director, from the WhereIsMyTransport office in Mexico City, discussing the challenges and opportunities in public transport data collection in emerging-market cities .

JP: WhereIsMyTransport has committed to mapping the public transport networks of the Majority World’s 30 largest cities. What’s the background to this goal?

DdV: WhereIsMyTransport’s mission has always been to transform the public transport experience for people who live in emerging markets — places where billions of people rely on informal transport, yet there is typically no information on networks or vehicle…

Christopher Yatrakis joined WhereIsMyTransport as Commercial Director in August 2020. From his base in San Francisco, he’ll help grow our business globally. Joe Peach, Communications Director, sat down with Chris to discuss his background, journey through the mobile industry, and why he finds the WhereIsMyTransport mission so compelling.

JP: Welcome to WhereIsMyTransport! Tell us about your interests and what attracted you to the business.

CY: The thing that is most attractive to me is the mission. When I first met Devin de Vries, our CEO, we talked about the mission and focus. …

By Devin de Vries, CEO, WhereIsMyTransport

We’ve all seen the comparative photographs on social media of some of the world’s most polluted cities pre- and post-lockdown, illustrating how the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic translated to clear skies for the first time in decades.

The big question then is how to sustain this “new normal”. Certainly, cities around the world are taking laudable steps to reduce carbon emissions. As they should. Local pollutants such as particulate matter kill millions globally each year — more than smoking, alcohol, or road accidents, by one estimate.

The scale of this crisis, together with…

By Devin de Vries, CEO, WhereIsMyTransport

Emerging megacities represent one of the world’s great remaining business opportunities. Decades of globalising commerce have intensified competition around the world, leaving few stones unturned in the search for more consumers. The combination of huge size and complex challenges in emerging megacities means there is scope for business growth at scales no longer found in developed markets.

Start with the size of the opportunity. I recently wrote about the 3.2 billion people in emerging-market cities, of whom nearly 2 billion rely on public transport at some point each month. At a spending power of…

By Devin de Vries, CEO, WhereIsMyTransport

Every week, billions of commuters¹ in emerging markets have no choice but to turn to public transport networks to get around, the majority of it provided by informal operators. Vehicles go by different names — minibus taxis in South Africa, matatus in Kenya, peseros in Mexico — but typically take the form of 16-passenger vans running along semi-flexible routes.

These privately owned systems don’t always maximise efficiency. Drivers have strong incentives to fill vehicles to capacity, which means there are very few of the empty buses often seen in the developed world. However, this…

High-performance technology for complex mobility networks in emerging markets.

From Africa to India, Latin America to Southeast Asia, we’re working to make formal and informal public transport reliable, predictable, safe, inclusive and accessible; so that everyone in the emerging world can get where they want to go.

We’re doing this by mapping all the public transport networks in emerging markets and making the data available through our integrated mobility data platform. Governments and service providers use our data and technology to sustainable urban mobility plans, and billions of people riding public transport use it to make smarter transport choices.

We currently have data from 33 cities in our platform…

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