Mapping Minibus Routes

Problem statement

Cape Towns public transport system is still marked by the apartheid era. The formal public transport system does not cater for most of the population of Cape Town that dwell in periphery areas.  Most of the households in the Cape Town (54%) and the Western Cape do not own a car. Most residents, from poor neighborhoods, rely on minibus taxis and trains to commute to work. There are serious deficiencies in the CPT public transport system such as unreliable services, infrastructure issues, security issues, overcrowding, roadworthiness of transport. As a result of this, transport users rely on minibus taxis that lack formal timetable routes and present safety concerns.


Proposed solution


The Cape Town Hub organized a civic hackathon to mobilise programmers and tech geniuses in creating an app mapping minibus taxis route. This cell phone-based program (app) aims to Improve predictability of the Public Transport System in Cape Town through Peer to Peer Communication through the app. Users can follow the location of vehicles by tracking other app users, thereby supporting safe and timely travel.


Target audience


·       Young talents in Cape Town to develop an innovative tech solution (Hackathon)

·       Public transport users in Cape Town (app)


Short- and long-term goals of the project


·       A prototype of a peer-to-peer system to track the progress of minibus taxis and trains in CPT, and potentially transferable to other African cities  

·       Empowering Cape Town youth through helping to solve an exciting challenge

·       Improving mobility and boosting socio-economic development through predictable public transport.   


Hub activities involved in this project:


·       Establishing partnerships with the stakeholders we will be working with

·       Fundraising to cover costs associated with the project

·       Organizing and hosting the hackathon

How impact is measures


·       Successful organisation of the hackathon

·       App developed through this hackathon to assist transport users

·       Roll out of the app to transport users in Cape Town

·       Number of app users

·       Improvements in the transport system and safety for users


Impact achieved through the project


·       Development of a prototype of a peer-to-peer system to track the progress of minibus taxis and trains in CPT

·       Prototype was presented in front of a large audience at the closing session of AfricArena

·       Participation of around 20 young captonians willing to improve public transport in their community

·       Publication of an article in the WEF Agenda about the app and hackathon



·       City of Cape Town

·       AfricArena

·       Pegasys Strategy & Development

·       WeThinkCode