Too many candidates in the campaigns promised an improvement of public transportation in Pristina, but so much was said and so little was done in this direction, and what the municipality failed to do, some teenagers did it.
Last week Within the next meeting of “UNICEF Innovations Lab Kosovo” me and my friend Gent Thaci got the chance to present our last project (still ongoing) called “Pristina Buses” which will enable all citizens of Kosovo to watch online all the bus lines of Prishtina, schedules of departures, prices etc.
Although the site is still under construction, it is worth mentioning that behind this lies a very good idea developed by our working group: Gent Thaci, Altin Ukshini, Lulzim Gashi, Giulia Martin, Daniela Bodnarova, Shkelqim Ahmeti, Ardian Haxha, Besfort Guri, and Ardi Hasimja (mainly FLOSSK members, experienced guys in IT), we developed something that Prishtina needed for years.
Often many of us, especially those who come to Prishtina from other countries, are lost in the midst of seeking for buses who go to the destination they are looking for, or are tired of asking each in turn at the bus stops: “I’m sorry, where is the circle ?”.
Prishtina Buses (now still in beta) will solve this predicament based on the beauty and the opportunities that are given by Free and Open Source Software.
“As the capital, Prishtina has no information on the public bus transport system. However, there are 16 bus lines operating in Prishtina and in the immediate vicinity, but locals and internationals are very confused about its operation. This fact, coupled with our belief that people will use it more often if more information was a major impetus to start this project you can find more information on the website: http://www.prishtinabuses.info
How it was done ?
After the approval of the project by the UNICEF Innovations Lab, the bus tracking phase started.
We took each bus line in a team of two and traced it with a Garmin GPS tracking device with which we wrote down all the routes and bus stops. These informations were easily transferred into a computer with a map software.
Also, as on the bus, we got exact information from the personnel on the bus operation schedule.
After we had all bus lines informations, I started working hard to create the website until it looked like now.
The long term objective of the Prishtina Busses project, which cost only around 500 Euros, is to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life in Prishtina and to support people to take buses more often rather than cars as well as to contribute to the decrease of pollution in the city.
We hope it will serve as an inspiration for public administration to carry out and support this kind of project in other towns in Kosovo.
We thank UNICEF Innovations Lab and Giulia and Daniela including my colleagues from FLOSSK for the support and we encourage everyone with innovative ideas to make them real.
What information and Data does the site contain ?
Well at the moment, Prishtina Buses is still in beta version, and there you can find information about 11 bus lines, including the itineraries, price tickets and all other things. The site is also bilingual (English and Albanian)
The Data and the source code are all open (still beta) which you can download from here.
Just to mention that the code is licensed under GPL v3 and the data are under CC-BY-SA.
I hope that by the end of this month we will give the last hand to the project and make a big release party about it.