Sudbury couple launches city transit app

Taking transit in any city can be daunting but a Sudbury couple is attempting to make navigating the bus system easier.

Taking the transit system in any city can be daunting but a Sudbury couple is attempting to make navigating the bus system easier.

Hema Khairajani got the idea to develop the app after her husband, Pradish Shivprasad, tried to catch the bus one night after having a few drinks at an office party.

“They go on the mobile and grumble about how difficult it is to get the information,” she said.

Sudbury couple, Hema Khairajani and Pradish Shivprasad, developed an app for the Greater Sudbury transit system. (Hilary Duff/CBC)

Shivprasad eventually did make it home and suggested to his wife they develop a Sudbury transit app.

The city does have a website where transit users can input what stop they’re at and see when the next bus is coming, but Shivprasad said his co-workers didn’t find it user friendly.

The couple decided to move forward and develop their own transit app – using information from the city’s site, but enhancing it.

Collecting data

The couple soon realized collecting the information to put in the program was going to take a bit of work.

“The routes [online] weren’t detailed enough,” Khairajani said.

“There was nothing visual as far as where the routes are going.”

After realizing the information they wanted wasn’t readily available, they took steps to collect it.

A Sudbury couple, Pradish Shivprasad and Hema Khairajani, developed an app for the Sudbury transit system. (Hilary Duff/CBC)

“For six months, every weekend we would print a route map [and] say ‘This is the route that I’m going to cover today,’” Khairajani said.

“We'd bundle our son into the car seat and go.”

They drove each route, tracking GPS locations as to where the stops were.

From there, they developed the app, werzmyBus.

“We did our testing on our colleagues,” Khairajani said.

“There are a few of our colleagues who use buses every day to and from work. They’ve used the app and they gave us good feedback.”

Shivprasad said data in the app is also pulled from the city’s real-time data site that posts information about where buses currently are and how far they are away from any bus stop.

The app is available for smartphones - and both Apple and Android devices.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story had the app titled as WherezmyBus. The correct name of the app is werzmyBus.
    Jun 25, 2014 5:01 PM ET

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.