Public transport is widely used in many countries of the world. Apart from the subsidized fare, it can help reduce road congestion and pollution. However in Pakistan, most people back away from Public transport. One reason is that most often they have no idea about which route to take or which bus(es) to use to reach their destination. The lack of information thus prevents many from using the facility.
What is Travly?
Travly is a new app that aims to solve most of the problems that the intra-city travelers face.The official launch event for Travly was held at Arfa Technology and Software Park auditorium on Friday 23rd May. The team behind this app, 404 Solution was incubated at Plan9 in the 3rd cycle. This project was also chosen for Startup Turkey 2014, where the team presented their idea to dozens of investors and hundreds of other attendees. The basic idea behind the app is that it lets commuters to plan out their bus travel from the comfort of their home or office.
How it all started?
The idea was born out of a problem that one of it’s founders, Shahmir faced while going to his university. The colleague he usually carpooled with couldn’t pick him so he decided to take a bus but ended up struggling for a long time to find the nearest bust stop and was of course utterly clueless about the routes. Later, the team conducted a research where they asked more than 3,000 android users about their reasons for not taking buses to travel. A surprising 47% of the respondents said that they didn’t because they are unaware of the routes, many others didn’t know about the nearby stops and the rest mentioned that they never needed to travel by bus.
How it works?
Travly locates nearest bus stops from your current location and tells you which bus(es) to board if you need to get from point A to point B. The working of the app was also demonstrated. In Lahore alone there are 17 routes and about 900 bus-stops. The 404 Solutions team member Faizan has recorded the exact location of each one of those stops (not by Google Maps but) by actually visiting them and noting the longitude and latitude. Currently 36 cities have been integrated into Travly.
The team also revealed the app’s upcoming features and things they’re trying to work on for the future. Some of those plans include adding inter-city routes to the app, introducing a feature that will be able to calculate the cost, time and distance of the trips and adding more cities. 404 Solutions also wants to incorporate an in-app chat room where people can interact about the location of a certain bus and more. Another feature that’s in pipeline is the Friends Circle, this will let the users share their current location and estimated arrival times ETA with friends and family.The app might even be, one day, loaded with ETA of GPS equipped buses. Furthermore, Travly might be optimized to make it usable offline in future and introduce an SMS based service for potential commuters that don’t own smartphones.
We’ve downloaded and tested the application here at TechJuice. The interface is quite simple and user-friendly: all you have to do is define the place where you are (the app can detect that automatically using your phone’s GPS) or where you plan to travel from as well as the location of the required destination. The app will show the buses and their routes that will take you to the bus stop closest to the place you need to reach. The app did crash for us once, but then this is a beta version. We’re hoping to see a more stable, better version to be released soon.
If the app does become all that it dreams to be one day , it will definitely deserve to be called “your travel buddy” and might become an essential tool to have on every Pakistani phone, especially considering the easy access that we now have to internet via 3G and 4G technology.