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Botswana’s First Transport Booking Application to be launched

As the saying goes “We do not grow when things are easy, we grow when we face challenges.” Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic did not only bring pain and sadness but it also presented a push for Botswana to grow technologically and evolve towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) lest face ‘extinction’.

The Challenge &
Solution

In response to the pandemic and its effects, the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) made a call to innovators last year to come forward with innovation idea proposals which would make life easier for the nation amid the COVID-19 regulations and protocols, which encourage social distancing than congregating. The five (5) successful innovators would then get funding from the Botswana Innovation Fund (BIF)- a fund set up by the Ministry of Tertiary Education Research, Science and Technology (MoTE) but managed by BIH.

The Innovator & Innovation

One of the Successful applicants- Corrugated Minds has developed a transport booking mobile application which is web based. ‘Sharearide’ Mobile Application was developed to make the booking of transport by commuters to be easy, hence reducing congestion at the ranks while at the same time helping the transport owners/managers and operators to easily manage their businesses.

Commuters’ benefits

Through ‘Sharearide’ Mobile Application, the co-founder of Corrugated Minds-Mr. Pako Morapedi says a commuter will be able to register with their mobile phone number, view different transport providers, their routes as well as times of departure and arrival. The commuter can then book and pay for the transport and trip of their choice and go wait at the bus stop than queuing at the rank. “A customer can book for up to four commuters including self, we did this so that those who have smartphones, technological knowhow and internet connectivity can book for those in rural areas like their parents whom will then get notifications on their mobile phones” he revealed.

Bus Owner’s benefits

The application will give the owner or manager an “insight into his business”, he will be able to get “real-time information” on his bus/combi/taxi activity; the number of customers per vehicle, which routes has the most customers- this information will let him manage the business better. i.e. he will know which route needs which vehicle capacity. The information collected can also be used for contact tracing if one of the commuters tests positive for COVID-19.

Conductor’s benefits

Conductors will find the application handy as they will use it to manage commuters; they will get insight on where they will stop to load and offload. “The conductors will be managing this application and helping educate people about it, for example, if someone board a bus on the bus stop but did not book, the conductor will have to capture them into the system” Morapedi asserted.

The platform, Morapedi says will be availed to transport owners so that they can subscribe for each bus/combi/taxi for a specific period, however Morapedi says there will be discounted prices for bulk. On the side of the commuter, they will soon access the application free of charge/without mobile data through the support of BIH and Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA).

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