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New app launched to help Amman residents navigate public transport

By Suzanna Goussous - Apr 25,2017 - Last updated at Apr 25,2017

The Maan Nasel group launches a mobile application that maps out routes for users of public transport in Amman during a press conference on Monday (Photo by Suzanna Goussous)

AMMAN — The Maan Nasel advocacy group on Monday launched a mobile application that maps out routes for users of public transport in Amman.

The application, dubbed Khutoutna (Our routes), allows the capital’s residents to plan their trips by identifying their start and end points, according to Hazem Zureiqat, a founding member at Maan Nasel, a group which campaigns for better public transport.

The main aim of the application is to “make public transport a priority in Jordan”, Zureiqat said, adding that the initial map, launched in March last year, included the capital’s streets and routes that can be taken on public transport.

“We worked on many aspects; raising public awareness, [posting] electronic content on public transport, contacting university students, offering solutions and developing them into a project,” he said at the press conference to launch the app. 

“Public transport has a wide range of problems; however, there are many issues that can be solved with limited resources,” Zureiqat added.

Founding member Hana Bilbeisi said the map is “from the people to the people”, and that the routes show the forms of transportation needed to reach the destination.

After entering their destination into the app, users will be provided with options of roads to reach the area, along with the walking distance, as well as buses and taxis available on the way, Bilbeisi said.

She said the app, a purely voluntary endeavour, would be a start towards solving the problems of public transport in Jordan.  

Raed Hamam, co-founder and technical director at Not Another Fruit Company, said the most challenging part of the process was collecting the data, which was then used to map out the routes, noting that the application was built on an open-source platform.

“The challenge was to identify some points for public transportation on the streets of Amman,” he added.

Around 15 per cent of Amman residents use public transportation, organisers said, which shows that residents prefer not to take public transport due to the current problems. 

The app will allow users to rank the route taken, the journey and the bus service, Bilbeisi also told The Jordan Times.

Group members voiced hope for future collaborative projects with the Greater Amman Municipality, the Land Regulatory Transport Commission and other official departments with similar goals.

The “Khutoutna” application is available in Arabic and English on iOS and Android platforms, according to the advocacy group. 

 

The application was developed by Maan Nasel in cooperation with Taqaddamm 350.org, the Centre for the Study of the Built Environment, Not Another Fruit, SYNTAX, the Fredrich Ebert Foundation, Sadaqa, Zain Jordan and Ro’ya TV. 

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