Public transportation is experiencing a global crisis. With so many COVID-19-related restrictions on people’s movement, it’s only natural public transportation would be dealt a hard blow. But as an integral part of any society, public transportation is a lifeline for many essential workers to get to work and citizen’s necessities, such as grocery shopping, getting medicine, getting medical treatment, and going to the bank.
At Moovit, we’ve cultivated relationships with volunteers around the world. These volunteer superheroes, who we call Mooviters, help us map public transit information when and where it is not readily available and are responsible for mapping 77% of the available regions in Moovit. The Mooviter community has helped Moovit become the “Wikipedia of Transit.”
During the coronavirus pandemic, our Mooviter community has been enabling their fellow citizens to continue to receive updated information about public transportation. It has been incredibly beneficial for those who need to continue to get to work or get to various essential businesses.
The Italian publication, TPI, recognized the work the Mooviter community has been doing there, writing that, ”since the early hours of the [COVID-19] emergency, hundreds of digital volunteers have been busy monitoring and constantly updating the timetables of the public transport service in over 350 medium and large Italian municipalities.”
But it’s not just in Italy. All over the world, the Mooviter community is helping update transit data. This is part of what makes Moovit so unique – enabling local heroes to help their communities, especially in times of crisis.
We spoke to a few of our Mooviter Ambassadors, the most active cohort of volunteers, to hear why they do what they do. Here they are in their own words:
“We have an important duty in monitoring and maintaining data in our cities. Not only in this most difficult moment but always to be on top of events to be able to give everyone the news and information that will happen in the near future. I love receiving positive feedback from Moovit users.”
“This time is challenging for everyone – especially transit agencies across the world. As a Mooviter, my goal is to bring easy access to public transit by providing up-to-date information on services no matter the situation. As a Mooviter that covers seven different agencies, it’s even more important to have the public informed on changes as Moovit might be the only place where they can access reliable changes. In the coming weeks, Moovit will help people access health care, food stores, and other places of high interest to aid in this crisis.”
“It’s very gratifying to know that our actions are positively impacting people’s lives. In the Southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, public transportation is suspended in all modalities and jurisdictions. I never imagined that I would see so many red alerts on so many cities simultaneously after the 2018 Brazil truck drivers’ strike.”
“By sending traffic information to my city, I’ve allowed citizens to plan their trips in advance. This prevents them from finding out about changes at the last minute and gives them time to prepare and to find an emergency solution if needed.”
Thanks to these volunteers, the Moovit app can provide the most updated information on closures, route changes, and more. When so much changes hourly, our Mooviter community still volunteer in helping fellow citizens, even in crisis situations like COVID-19. We are so proud and grateful for their incredible volunteerism.
Do you see a need for better transit data in your area and want to help?