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Jan 19, 2023

Transit Belize – An App to Track Buses & Schedules for Students

Today, the Department of Youth Service revealed that it is about to launch an app in early February that will be able to track the location of buses and their schedules. It will be piloted particularly in the Belize Rural North and Belize Rural Central and is specifically for students. It is being made possible through collaboration with young innovative entrepreneur from Orange Walk, Aziel Ku. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The safety of students commuting via public transportation is the foundation for an app that will be launched by the Department of Youth Services in the days ahead.  Transit Belize is expected to track buses and provide real-time updates on their scheduled departure and arrival, in either direction.


Kevin Cadle

Kevin Cadle, Director, Department of Youth Services

“This definitely assists in ensuring that we curb the level of young persons who are missing or the level of young persons who are not doing what they are supposed to do and increase our productivity, especially our educational productivity of young persons within the setting of their own environment.”


So how will it work?  Would parents need access to internet use the app? Aziel Ku of Vistro created the app and breaks down the elements.


Aziel Ku

Aziel Ku, Owner, Vistro

“Transit has three different parts, there is a conductor’s version that they use to scan a specific ID. That app uses an image processing software. Once they do that, the parent app gets notified through their account that their child is already on the bus. So it is not an account that is linked to any social security account; it is a new ID that the Department of Youth Services will be giving to them so that even if someone gets access to that, the ID doesn’t do anything outside of the app. Parents can see when their child has gotten on the bus and when they arrive on the bus – both when they go to school and come back from the school. Likewise, parents will be able to, in the mornings when they are getting ready and getting everyone ready, they can quickly just glance at the app and say okay you know what we have ten minutes before the bus passes – both for high school and kids.”


Duane Moody

“The app is internet based that you have to have data or Wi-Fi so that you can access the app?”


Aziel Ku

“For parents, no. If they are concerned about getting that notification or having that peace of mind, we do an SMS notification so they get that. But if they want to see an actual location in real time then they do need data to access that information.”


Director Kevin Cadle explains that the Department of Youth Services intends to see the electronic application rollout across the country for the start of the new school year in September.


Kevin Cadle

“We recognise that parents need to be involved, schools need to be involved, the transport system needs to be involved. The Department of Transport needs to be here with us, key personnel within our department – in IT – needs to be involved, the police needs to be involved with this whole concept, the LIU definitely gonna be involved with it, because they are our partners as well. As well as all the stakeholders, especially UNICEF needs to be involved.”


Also in attendance today were representatives from the Department of Transport. Senior Transport Planner Shanoy Gentle says that as the department seeks to reform the transportation industry, they are looking at available opportunities to include technology in the process.


Shanoy Gentle

Shanoy Gentle, Senior Transport Planner, Department of Transport

“Currently transport is actually in the process of our own reform so we are looking for ways whereby we can also improve the industry that we are in for our commuters and our operators as well. So we are looking at this and we are seeing the bigger picture here and we want to see what the Department of Youth Services will do with it because we also have the idea of creating a ticketing system and to have ways on how commuters can also track buses because we are constantly having complaints saying that we are at the terminals too long, we are at the road side for hours and hours, there is no bus. So this was really a great opportunity for us to be here this morning to see what Aziel is doing and for us to go back to the drawing board.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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