In partnership with University of Nairobi and Groupshot and Columbia University's Center for Sustainable Urban Development MIT’s Civic Data and Design Project is working toward standardizing and opening transit data for Nairobi’s Matatus — the informal and de facto city bus system. Building on past Kenyan-based digital mapping efforts and open source transit software, the group will produce a comprehensive framework for collecting, opening and mapping Matatu transportation data toward a mobile and equitable Nairobi.
Currently underway, a primary round of data collection and local student design workshops are growing the understanding of this otherwise misunderstood and complex system. The first series of tools will be entering development this spring to improve on data collection and transport information management in the decentralized Matatu system. This project uses Nairobi’s active mobile phone community to develop a standardized Matatu bus route for Nairobi informal buses. By developing crowd sourcing applications we hope people in Nairobi can develop their own information for transit.