Cairo transport advocates create a grassroots transit map

How can you use public transit if you don’t even know where the buses run and what routes they take?

How can you use public transit if you don’t even know where the buses run and what routes they take?

This is the problem that over 20 million citizens face everyday on the streets of Cairo, Egypt. Since 2015, I have been working on an interesting project in my hometown to help solve this problem.

Along with 8 other team members, we started an organization called Transport for Cairo. We are trying to create a map of Cairo’s public transportation network by using mobile phone technology to GPS track Cairo’s different transit options. Ultimately, we are creating a database of all bus routes and stops in Cairo, from the ground up.

When we had enough data to create a preliminary map, we went back to the community for help. Transport for Cairo collaborated with a local university and hosted a transit mapping workshop, where we shared with these young designers everything we knew about map design. Then we let them build the maps themselves.

The results were quite amazing. Bear in mind these students did not have any previous experience with transit map design. You can see the three winning maps below:

You can find more pictures of this event here.

The map is only preliminary, the team is working on creating a more comprehensive map for all of Cairo and are partnering with various organizations in Cairo to do it. Our efforts so far have been creating significant buzz on social media, as well as, being featured on various regional newspaper (see here and here).

You can also learn more and stay tuned about Transport for Cairo by checking out our website or our Facebook page.

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