Summary: Abstract--We present our experiences with an SMS-based
system for providing transit information based solely on existing
cellular and GPS networks. The aim is to permit the development
of information services that do not rely on a central authority or
complex web hosting. We developed and applied our system to the
network of privately-run marshrutka buses in Bishkek,
Kyrgyzstan. However, our goal is to more broadly address issues
of ad-hoc shared transportation systems in the developing world.
A custom designed GPS-GSM unit is placed on a vehicle, and
users can query our server over SMS with their own non-GPS-
enabled cell phones. We report on the accuracy of our location
naming approach and estimates of bus arrival times. In addition,
we summarize interviews with bus drivers and bus riders relating
their views of the system and outline directions for future work.
Our system is a grassroots solution to the persistent lack of
transport information in developing countries.
Index Terms-- ICTD, transportation, information services,
mobile phones, GPS, SMS, Kyrgyzstan, developing regions
INDING the right transportation at the right time is a