Public Transport app Moovit has kicked off officially announced their Australian launch today, launching in most major capital cities across Australia.
With the addition of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Hobart and Perth, Moovit is now sharing public trasport information in more than 500 cities.
Moovit is first and foremost a public transport app, feeding you information regarding how best to get around a city. The app links with public transport information but it doesn’t end there, adding crowd-sourced information on top to enhance your knowledge about your upcoming ride.
Crowd-sourced data in Moovit can warn you about an unclean bus, a delayed train arrival, or work on roads and based on this information, allow you to alter your journey to avoid any potential issues.
The app is available on a number of platforms, with crowd-sourced data available to users across iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Moovit is also working on wearable support, advising they would be releasing an Apple Watch app when it launches in April, before coming to Android Wear in Q2.
The app itself is pretty full featured offering a number of helpful tools to plan your next trip:
We spoke with Alex Torres, Vice President of Global Product Marketing & Innovation at Moovit about the launch and he kindly answered a few questions for us:
Ausdroid: What is the thinking behind developing an Apple Watch product first when Android Wear has been on the market for over 6 months now? What is the actual timeline for Android Wear support?
Alex: The Moovit platform was developed for both the Apple Watch and Android Wear at the same time. The plan is to release together in mid-April, depending on product availability of the Apple Watch. Our aim is to always put the user first and the uptake from Android users in Australia has been unprecedented. Our focus will be to continue developing the app which responds to where and how the user wants to use the app.
Ausdroid: How will Moovit have 150,000 local users at launch? Are there that many people in the Beta?
Alex: We´ve experienced tremendous support from our users in Australia and word of mouth have been phenomenal for us. We’ve found that uptake in major cities like Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane has grown organically without us spending much on marketing or advertising because of the way we are responding to that data that people are inputting. At launch, we will have upwards of 200,000 local users across nine cities in Australia. The power of Moovit stems from cooperation with our community of local users and the more we listen to them by mining the data they input, the more we can build the service to align with what they want and need and the more users come on board.
Ausdroid: Are there plans to include Darwin – or move it out to more regional areas?
Alex: We´re open to launch anywhere in Australia as long as there´s interest from our users and from the local transit authorities. Moovit doesn´t distinguish between small, medium or large sized cities. We´re a democratic, non-agnostic local transportation platform which means that we can operate with both public and private transport services to give the community the best travel experience possible. With so many users in metro areas, we’re also finding that users in the smaller regions who commute are filling in mapping data as they go on their journey, bettering the service for those around them.
Ausdroid: Is Moovit actually working with Public Transport providers or utilising publicly available APIs to scrape data?
Alex: Moovit is working with public transport providers as well as with other sources who offer reliable and trustworthy scheduling and mapping data via Open Data or via partnerships. If the data is not made available this way, Moovit lets you use in-built mapping tools that enable us at Moovit HQ to launch in any city worldwide. In fact, 10% of the 500 cities that we currently operate in have been launched using this user-driven method.
Ausdroid: Is there any plans to integrate with Google Maps to maybe include data such as Home/Work from that service or is Moovit looking to build our their own maps infrastructure independent of Google Maps?
Alex: Moovit is spearheading the way that mapping and scheduling for public transport works via the power of crowdsourced information and Open Source technology. It’s these crowdsourced-insights that build our transit infrastructure and for this reason, we aren’t looking to integrate with Google (a company where I worked for nine years).
Ausdroid: What sort of revenue model are Moovit using? Is it through showing ads in app? If so are Moovit willing to remove ads via a one-time In-App Purchase?
Alex: Moovit isn’t currently looking to monetise. Instead, we are looking to be the foremost local transport app across the world. To do this, we want to focus on the quality of the data that we are collecting to constantly improve our service. We have secured $81.5M following three rounds of funding and our investors are keen for us to start that monetisation exercise once we´ve reached more users in more countries.
Moovit is now available in the Google Play store to download right now. It’s live in major capital cities, and waiting for a little more input from users for those areas it’s not quite live in yet.