Citymapper app adds comparative data on local transport fares

February 07, 2018 15:21
Urban travel planner app Citymapper has included a new feature on its app that offers fare information on various public transport options for the users. Photo: Citymapper

Urban travel planner app Citymapper has added a new feature to its free app that provides information about fares for various public transport options, including concessionary interchange schemes.

Gene Soo, general manager of Citymapper in Hong Kong, said there are so many transit options in the city and the fares are pretty confusing, with over 1,000 types of concessionary interchange schemes.

This complexity fuels the demand for a consolidated, easy-to-read information on comparative fares for various transit options via the Citymapper app, Soo said.

“We pumped every single source of fare information we could find into Gobot (Citymapper’s computational analyzing tool) ... The app now has fare information for your routes, and you can pick the journey that suits you,” the company said in a description of the new service on its website.

The app estimates how much a commuter will spend for fares using different combinations of the various transit options available to reach a specific destination using an adult Octopus Card.

The fares for a commuter who uses an elderly Octopus Card, a student Octopus card, an MTR Monthly Pass or a City Saver ticket are not considered.

Also, the concessionary interchange schemes for the minibus are not yet included because of the complex section fare scheme, Soo said.

Last year the government launched its open data portal to provide transport data including the section fare scheme for buses.

Soo described it as “a big step towards open data”, although it requires a lot of work from developers building the application programming interface (API).

Citymapper now offers arrival information from Hong Kong Tramways and MTR Corporation, but Soo said bus operators like Citybus, KMB and New World First Bus have not opened up their transport data API to the public.

It urged the Hong Kong government to take the lead in opening up transport data so that more transport operators in the city will follow.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Feb 2

Translation by Ben Ng with additional reporting

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Hong Kong Economic Journal