Helping 9,000,000 commutersBy Mobond Consultancy Private Limited
Every day, nine million commuters take to Mumbai’s public transport system of trains, Metro, monorail and buses. Since 2010 they’ve been able to use an app called m-Indicator, which regularly collects transit data from India’s cities and presents travel information through smartphone and feature phone apps. On Android alone, m-Indicator has over five million installs, with more than 70% of users keeping the app on their device.
The company behind m-Indicator, Mobond, is now looking to help their user-base of female commuters, in an initiative responding to the disturbing prevalence of harassment on public transport. Launched in January 2015 in conjunction with India’s Railway Minister, the add-on feature to m-Indicator includes three safety features: a manual emergency SMS tool, automatic text messages that are sent after two consecutive missed calls, and a button that immediately summons help from Mumbai’s Railway Protection Force (RPF). In the latter case, m-Indicator sends out tracking messages that enable RPF staff to be waiting at the next available station.
m-Indicator’s ‘Women Safety’ feature sends text messages out with the user’s approximate location, train information and compartment. Both the manual and automatic emergency options rely solely on the cell network – there’s no need for internet or GPS access, and emergency texts are only prepared and sent out at pre- and user-approved times.
Adding the capacity to help women travellers to an already-popular app is a key example of using market share for the public good. It’s an application of social technology addressing a real need, so on your next visit to Mumbai be sure to install m-Indicator from any app store, and stay safe.
Image 'still waiting... far away for far too long!' courtesy of Rajarshi MITRA.
Last updated: 11th of October, 2015