So, how many times have you found yourself stranded in a new city, and been at the mercy of people who you might not be able to communicate with, because of a language barrier, and not knowing which bus to catch?
You can always Google Map it, but when it comes to specific information about public transport in India, the government has kept it at a safe distance from services that can make your life easier.
Well, if you're in Ahmedabad, there's an app for that. Panthex technologies has launched an app called Janmarg BRTS, which gives you information about bus routes and a lot more. We played around a bit with the app, and here's what we think about it.
What is it about?Janmarg performs a host of functions around providing information about bus services in Ahmedabad. It does it in four ways -
1) Lines - This is a list of bus lines in the city. The list displays the name of the line and the number of stops or stations in the line. Upon clicking the element, it gives you another list, which is one of the all the stops in the line. Upon clicking an element in this list, you're given a map view of the stop.
2) Route - This is a search tool, where you can enter the origin and the destination, either by text or from a list. The function of the tool is to give you a list of stations between the two points.
3) Fare - Works a little like the route option, where you enter a source and a destination and this tool will give you the cost of the fare.
Other than this, the app has some information on token and SmartCard for the buses. The app also has a dedicated map view of all the stations on the map and you can search for stations using a sorting list menu.
Pros and Cons I love the usability of this app. While there are a lot of lists on this app, you can easily swipe between them, without accidentally clicking on the elements on the list. It's fluid and responsive. But perhaps, it's best feature is the map view integration. Also, the menu on the right hand side of the map view was useful. And the best part is that it works without using the internet.
The only place where I thought the app was missing a feature was in the route feature. Clicking on the route list's elements doesn't do anything. A link to the map view here would have been very useful. Also, the more tab doesn't have that much value to the user, as it predominantly has information about the app. It could possibly be done away with. Also, using a side-swipe menu on the app could have gotten rid of the tabs completely, which would free up some screen real estate.Our take
Janmarg is a useful app, which has been made with the traveller in mind. The app works offline and has been laid out in a very intuitive manner. There are a few UX changes that can be made, but the app wouldn't be any less useful if they weren't made. If you're looking to use public transport on your first visit to Ahmedabad, Janmarg is a must-have.
Download the app for Android here
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