Trackers have been installed in all Rea Vaya and Metrobus vehicles as part of the second phase of the City of Joburg’s plan to improve public transport through an app, called VayaMoja.

This forms part of the app’s second phase roll-out. VayaMoja was launched in July and currently gives users access to information on all Rea Vaya and Metrobus routes, bus frequencies and stops, as well as fare information.

However, users don’t know exactly when and if the bus will arrive.

The trackers installed in the buses will give the app an added layer of information which will help users plan their commute.

The app was developed in a joint effort between Intervate, a T-Systems company, and the City of Johannesburg.

“We’ve partnered with a vehicle tracking company to have tracking units installed in all buses across Johannesburg. Now that we know where every bus is, and what direction and speed it’s moving at, we will be able to create a reliable, predictable public transport experience for commuters,” says Craig Heckrath, who heads up the Smart Citizen product team at Intervate.

“Currently, users can see bus routes and stops, but they don’t have a sense for when the next bus is coming. Once this phase of the project is live, users will be able to make better decisions when navigating the complex Johannesburg transport system, as they’ll be able to track bus movements and get timing estimates directly on the app,” Heckrath explains.

Intended to empower commuters to plan a journey based on their current location and where they want to be, users will now be able to search destinations, select routes and see bus arrival times.

Heckrath says the team hopes to reach full functionality of the app for all users by the beginning of next year.

The VayaMoja app is free to download from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.