The TroTro Apps Challenge – MEST, May 27-28
Mobility and Development
- Are you a developer, with interests in data and development?
- Do you have ideas that can transform Accra’s public transport system?
- If you had access to data on 300+ well mapped trotro routes /networks in Accra, what would you do with it?
We are happy to invite you to the Accra TroTro Apps Challenge scheduled to take place at the MEST Campus in East Legon, May 27-28 2016.
Come and compete for 4000 GHS in prize money for the winning teams!
MEST in partnership with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the French Agency for Development (AFD) are organizing the Accra TroTro apps challenge on May 27-28 to bring together key players in Accra’s public transport sector and the technology ecosystem to brainstorm and develop solutions aimed at utilizing the rich data gathered on the TroTro routes in innovative ways and enhancing mobility in Accra.
With a current population of about 4 million and more than a million people commuting to the city for various socio-economic activities, Accra is faced with a significant public transport and mobility challenge. The AMA, through its department of transport and in partnership with the AFD has gathered TroTro data on over 300 active routes and hundreds of stops. At the TroTro Apps Challenge, for the first time ever, the data will be officially made public!
During this 2-day event, technology innovators will compete to come up with exciting app ideas in the field of mobility based on the data of Accra’s over 300 active trotro routes.
Register to compete here: http://www.trotrodatathrowdown.com/
Nature of the Data Gathered
Collectors exclusively used GPS-enabled smartphones to record data on the routes. For each route, a collector boarded a trotro and made a round trip (from origin terminal to destination terminal and back using a different vehicle). Information on itinerary, travel time, name and location of stops, passengers boarding and alighting was also collected.
The following data will be made available for the event:
- A GTFS dataset describing Accra’s transport network (series of .txt files)
- Trip records (inbound and outbound) for every route – contains information on itinerary and travel time
- Stop records describing the name, location and number of passengers boarding and alighting for each stop (including origin and destination terminals)
- Trip records and stop records will be provided as shapefiles (for each route and each direction –outbound & inbound – one shapefile for stops and one shapefile for the trip). Each shape file has a .dbf table containing all its information.
Data Collection Process
A data collection campaign was organized in the spring of 2015 by AMA and AFD, in collaboration with Concordia University, our Canadian partner. Every trotro route registered with local authorities was surveyed by a team of data collectors. After removing inactive routes, we ended up with data on 315 routes having either their origin or their destination within AMA.
Collectors exclusively used GPS-enabled smartphones to record data on the routes. Two apps were installed on each phone: 1/ DataMobile (datamobileapp.ca), running in the background and recording GPS points every 30 seconds, and 2/ Tap Log, a personal event logger that was used to record stops. For each route, a collector boarded a trotro and made a round trip (from origin terminal to destination terminal and back using a different vehicle). Information on itinerary, travel time, name and location of stops, passengers boarding and alighting was collected.
To open, manipulate and analyze shapefiles, we recommend the use of QGIS (qgis.org), a free and open source GIS program. QGIS allows you to run Python code.
The following Python libraries can also be useful: Fiona and Shapely (see goo.gl/wZx0e3)
For more information on the GTFS format, see goo.gl/P8bYuE
Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA)
Accra Metropolitan Assembly is the local government body at the heart of the Greater Accra. One of its various mandates is to regulate and plan trotro and taxi services in the metropolis through its Department of Transport.
The French Agency for Development (AFD)
AFD is the French Agency for Development and has been active in Ghana for thirty years as a development finance institution. Through grants, soft loans and guarantees, AFD supports economic development, poverty reduction and the protection of public goods. AFD is active in sectors as diverse as agriculture, energy, water & sanitation, and urban development, and works both the public and private sector (through its subsidiary, Proparco).
Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MESTGhana)
Recognized as Fast Company’s “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Africa, MEST provides training, investment and incubation for aspiring African tech entrepreneurs. Established in Ghana in 2008, MEST offers aspiring African entrepreneurs a fully sponsored twelve month, intensive full-time program. Sourced from top graduates in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya & South Africa, these Entrepreneurs-In-Training (EITs) are selected each year and receive comprehensive training across the spectrum of skills required to build successful tech businesses.
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