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Irenbus - a real-time machine learning based public transport management system.

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The era of Big Data and the Internet of Things is upon us, and it is time for developing countries to take advantage of and pragmatically apply these ideas to solve real-world problems. As the saying goes, "data is the new oil" - we believe that data can be used to power the transportation sector the same way traditional oil does. Many problems faced daily by the public transportation sector can be resolved or mitigated through the collection of appropriate data and application of predictive analytics. In this body of work, we are primarily focused on problems affecting public transport buses. These include the unavailability of real-time information to commuters about the current status of a given bus or travel route; and the inability of bus operators to efficiently assign available buses to routes for a given day based on expected demand for a particular route. A cloud-based system was developed to address the aforementioned. This system is composed of two subsystems, namely a mobile application for commuters to provide the current location and availability of a given bus and other related information, which can also be used by drivers so that the bus can be tracked in real-time and collect ridership information throughout the day, and a web application that serves as a dashboard for bus operators to gain insights from the collected ridership data. These were all developed using the Firebase Backend- as-a-Service (BaaS) platform and integrated with a machine learning model trained on collected ridership data to predict the daily ridership for a given route. Our novel system provides a holistic solution to problems in the public transport sector, as it is highly scalable, cost-efficient and takes full advantage of the currently available technologies in comparison with other previous work in this topic.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.