The use of public transport was not plannable in Dar Es Salaam due to the lack of real time information. The Agency envisaged an app that can provide real-time information and services of transport options for the residents and visitors of Dar es Salaam (including BRT, daladala and shared mobility services and NMT). The new app’s intention is to ease the use of public transport by providing up-to-date information, to allow inhabitants of Dar es Salaam, especially women, elderly, youth, people with disabilities and other walks of life to move with more predictability.
In preparation of the project, a detailed survey was conducted to understand the users’ needs, choices and visions for a comprehensive journey planner.
The intention of this data collection was to gain understanding and to create a solid dataset to form the basis for the DAR City Navigator.
Another essential part of the project was the definition of software requirements and the development of the design and the app itself.
To increase usability, a user manual for the application was developed.
The DAR City Navigator App was developed with the intention to facilitate the use of public transport. Despite some setbacks in this ambitious project, valuable outcomes and incomes could be achieved:
Development of an app
Experience and capacity building within the respective city departments in the field of digitalization and data processing
Identification of gaps in data sets and expertise as a learning for future projects with similar character
In the course of the project, some challenges occurred. Developing an app requires sufficiently trained exerts and the city and other stakeholders have to be well-positioned in the field of digitalization.
In addition to the technical aspect of the app development, collecting and processing the data for the app to be comprehensive and serviceable, proved to be a complex procedure. The experience gained within the project showed that developing a substantial and worthwhile app requires more than technical expertise. Having a solid data set in advance is advisable.
Close cooperation and coordination of all stakeholders involved is necessary to align the process and to identify challenges well in advance.
The development of the DAR City Navigator presented true challenges for all involved stakeholders. The project’s objectives were ambitious, and major issues were identified too late along the process in order to find appropriate solutions. It has become evident that digital projects like the DAR City Navigator require careful preparation and evaluation of the basic pre-requirements, which include solid data and staff capacity for technical implementation as well as for the alignment of the process.