“The waiting time is higher than normal” is something that nobody likes to hear while waiting for the next train. Gabriel Maia, MSc student in Information Systems and Computer Engineering at Técnico, and two friends created two tools that will help users to manage time according to Lisbon metro delays.
The website perturbacoes.pt. and the UnderLx app will allow users to access useful information. “We didn’t take the website very seriously in the beginning, but it became popular and people’s feedback showed me that we should improve it”, explains Gabriel Maia.
Although the app and the website are linked they have different goals. The website aims to provide statistics and additional information on Lisbon Metro network that will allow users to monitor service quality. The app aims to provide useful information and, at the same time, collect data on the service provided by Lisbon Metro. “In the future we hope to improve the app according to the most common routes, as well as to provide more information based on users reviews”, says the Técnico alumnus.
Indicating the real-time line status and providing information about disruptions in Lisbon metro have been captivating followers and users, allowing them to find other transport alternatives or manage these disruptions. The app collects anonymous data and submits them for review. “Thus, we can accurately calculate the approximate travel time between stations at different times of the day,” says Gabriel Maia. The more people use the app and allow data submission, the more accurate will be the information provided by the service. “If we reach a sufficiently high number of different users, we can identify real-time delays as well as calculate waiting times,” clarifies the student.
The app is available since the beginning of August and the number of users has been increasing exponentially. “This also allowed us to improve the quality of the statistics, namely the approximate travel time between stations”, reiterates the Técnico student. This group of entrepreneurs have many plans for the future. They plan to implement new features in the short term. Gabriel Maia does not exclude the possibility of expanding this “project to other means of transport and to other cities once there is an opportunity.” “There is a huge set of open possibilities for both the app and the website, and ideas just keep coming up,” he adds. In the long term, the main goal is to “improve the experience of using public transports through the information technologies”.
The MSc student in Information Systems and Computer Engineering highlights the importance of Técnico in his life: “I developed many of my skills at Técnico, which allowed me to create this project”, declares Gabriel Maia. “Ideas come relatively easy but putting them into practice is, and always will be, the most difficult part”, adds the Técnico student. If you are going to use Lisbon metro on a regular basis you should try UnderLx app.