Digital Matatus - 3.0 Nairobi, KENYA

PROJECT OVERVIEW: Digital Matatus shows how to leverage the ubiquitous nature of cellphone technology in developing countries to collect data on semi-formal transit systems, give it out freely and in the process spur innovation and improved services for citizens. Conceived out of a collaboration between Kenyan and American universities and the technology sector in Nairobi, this project captured transit data for Nairobi, developed mobile routing applications and designed a new transit map for the city. The data, maps, and apps are free and available to the public, transforming the way people navigate and think about their transportation system. The Digital Matatus team started documenting the transit system of Nairobi in 2014. This is the third extensive data collection (Digital Matatus 3.0) conducted by the team in the past six years, and while keeping our data up-to-date we are also beginning to accrue a historical database of Nairobi’s transit system. The data from 2015, 2017 and 2019 can be accessed on our website.

CATEGORY: Education SETTING: Urban STATUS: Completed project

BY: Digital Matatus

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: The Digital Matatus team has been collecting and visualizing data on the transit system of Nairobi asking all those interested to join the process including the city government, the local technology community, and NGOs. In May 2019, team members conducted a series of workshops to procure feedback on the updated transit map. The Matatu conductors and drivers, who have become an important part of the team, helped us editing the most recent release of the map. The collaboration has helped create trust in the data we have collected allowing it to be used beyond our project to improve transportation planning in Nairobi.

PARTNERS: MIT - Civic Data Design Lab, University of Nairobi - C4DLab, Columbia University - Center for Sustainable Urban Development, Groupshot.