Almaty is the largest city in Kazakhstan, and one of the fastest growing cities in the region. In the past few years, Almaty has seen the introduction of a number of innovative transport solutions, including a new bike-sharing system, Almaty Bike.
The latest initiative to tackle mobility problems is the Y4PT Local Transport Hackathon, organised with the United Nations Development Programme and the Almaty Global Environment Facility (UNDP-GEF).
Team Piroq won the Almaty hackathon, developing a mobile app that monitors the quality of public transport drivers. Public transport users can rate their journey, leading to rewards and penalties for the drivers. The data from this app can then be used to improve the quality of public transport, and track mobility use.
Beibut Amirgaliyev, representing the team, will be traveling to Montréal in May to participate in the first-ever Global Transport Hackathon, competing against Local Hackathon winners from around the world. We sat down with him to learn about the winning project, and to pick his brain about transport challenges in Almaty.
Tell us about your winning project:
In order to improve the quality of public transport in Almaty, we decided to adopt the same approach used by Uber and Yandex.Taxi services. After a ride, the user can fill out an evaluation form, rating or commenting on the journey. Our app will allow public transport users to rate their driver, and from this data we can create a portrait of the driver, and encourage people to use public transport.
This is a fun initiative that can encourage the use of public transport, and reduce the environmental impact of transport. Better driving burns less fuel and improves the image of public transport.
I believe that public transport has a bright future
How does your idea respond to specific public transport challenges that your city faces?
There are a number of problems with public transport in Almaty, but a key issue is the poor quality of service. People frequently complain that drivers are rude, buses are dirty, and schedules are not respected. With our app, we give power to passengers to rate the quality of their trip, and with this data, public transport operators can better control the quality of service.
What do you think the future of public transport looks like?
I believe that public transport has a bright future, considering the recent emphasis on clean energy and improvements to public transport infrastructure. In the future, I hope that all routes are convenient, that public transport will be consistent and on schedule, and that the quality of service will be better.
If you could change one thing about public transport in Almaty, what would it be?
I would definitely like to change the quality of service of public transport. This is a problem that our app solves. If passengers have the ability to leave feedback on their journey, municipal authorities can take action to improve the service. This will make public transport more attractive for all and could lead to improvements in air quality!
The Y4PT Global Transport Hackathon takes place in Montréal, alongside the UITP Global Public Transport Summit. Innovation is the central theme of the Summit, with cutting-edge exhibitions, presentations and world premieres.
Y4PT’s hackathons are part of InnovHub. Follow the bulb to discover the future of public transport.