THE PROBLEM: The majority of people travelling from Khayelitsha and other townships use the train because it is cheap and affordable. But, the trains are not safe, are often delayed, have long ticket queues, and can have a shortage of paper for printing tickets.
People traveling from the townships do not realistically have another option for transportation that is as cheap as the train. But the trains often cause them to the be late for work and sometimes result in people paying for other means of travel (on top of train tickets).
THE INSIGHT: If the waiting time in queues is shortened or eliminated, people will not waste as much time and/or miss trains while buying tickets.
THE CHALLENGE: How might we improve the efficiency of the ticketing system for MetroRail?
THE SOLUTION: Transport Revolution created a ticket-system where travelers can pre-pay for travel credit using a mobile USSD application. The credit is loaded onto a card (rather than paper ticket), which is swiped upon travel. This eliminates the use of paper tickets, which caused problems in the past (shortages of paper) and more importantly is a waste of paper.
THE IMPACT: People traveling via the trains will have a much more pleasant experience and waste less time in queues. Transport Revolution’s system aims to transform the whole train system in Cape Town.
THE INNOVATORS: Ncebakazi Gxako, Yolanda Nkala, Sisanda Tom. The Transport Revolution team won the innovate SA Best Progress prize.
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