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Folha to Publish Transport Information from Moovit App

04/10/2014 - 10h00

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FROM SÃO PAULO

Folha will now publish information regarding public transport taken from the application Moovit. The app allows São Paulo residents to choose the best combinations of bus, metro and train to travel within the city.

Moovit also provides status updates on six of the city's most important avenues, including Avenida Paulista, meaning that the user always has an instant overview of the transport situation in the city.

"It's the only application that combines traffic information with the status of public transport (bus, train and metro), and with information provided by users (crowdsourcing) - in other words, the position of the app's thousands of users in real time," says the Moovit CEO, Omar Tellez.

The application receives information from SPTrans - the government agency which oversees public transport in the city - regarding active routes and bus stops. It then adds information taken from GPS devices installed on the city buses, allowing the user to see the position of each bus and to know immediately whether any technical problem has occurred.

Moovit then adds information provided by its own users. This makes it possible to calculate the average speed of vehicles along each route and estimate journey time. "As well as this, our users can tell us about the status of each vehicle: whether it's empty or crowded, whether it has air-conditioning, whether it's in good condition, or if the driver is good or not," says Tellez.

Available in 15 languages, Moovit covers 130 cities in 27 countries. In Brazil, it currently covers 10 districts, and the plan is to cover all of the nation's major state capitals.

"Our greatest difficult in the Brazilian market is getting basic information about public transport: data regarding itineraries, routes, lines and fleets. Most Brazilian cities don't maintain this information in any organized form, and when they do, it is not freely available. The freedom of information culture still has a long way to go in Brazil," says Tellez, though he does praise the work of SPTrans.

Available for Android and iOS, the application has been downloaded 950,000 times in Brazil. The aim is to reach the four million mark by the end of the year. Across the whole world, it has been downloaded 5 million times, with the target standing at 13 million by December.

The company was set up in Israel in 2011, and has already received support from investment funds such as Sequoia, which also invested in the messaging application WhatsApp.

It is also possible to download Moovit directly to your cellular phone (Android or iOS).

Translated by TOM GATEHOUSE

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