Arnold Minde, a Computer Engineering graduate from the University of Dar es Salaam has developed an application dubbed Safari Yetu in a move to change the way passengers book bus tickets in Tanzania.
Minde, a passionate software developer says Safari Yetu (Swahili for Our Journey) enables bus seat reservation and ticketing firms to avoid the menace associated with manual bus seat reservation and ticketing to use online and mobile devices.
According to him, the move will make it convenient for operators to easily run their operations and offer better services and as well simplify life for bus travelers who can use the app to book and pay for their bus fares from the simplicity of their phones and computers.
The service reduces both time and money wasted on the manual, physical reservation as operators have to record in books which they might loose any minute and also waste time doing it. Bus travelers also waste their time and money as they have to travel to go and book buses then wait for the exact traveling day for the bus.
With everyone processing their tickets physically, the developer says it costs even more on to the travelers and even those on busy work schedules in town. The massive inflow of people seeking to correct it may cost, cause city traffic jams and travellers are at risk of losing their tickets unlike Safari Yetu.
Safari Yetu will therefore help mobile phone or computer users to buy tickets at a click of a button and go to the bus park on the travel day. Safari yetu also has agents selling tickets in the community to avoid users crowding at the booking office.
Safari Yetu beat over 100 start-up founders in at the recent Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) startup boot camp East Africa event held in Dar es Salaam to become the best startup from the region.
The GIST win is not luck to Minde, in September 2012, Safari Yetu was the Best Startup in Dar es Salaam under the Startup World Tanzania and is scheduled to compete Kenya’s Sematime and other finalists from around the world for as the world’s top startup 2013 in Silicon Valley, US.
For bus and ferry operators, Safari Yetu aims to improve seat reservation management and reporting. Help operators have full control on how they receive their money and easily monitor remotely while ticketing agents can sell tickets from anywhere, using a computer or mobile phone with Internet connection to earn their commissions. For passengers traveling becomes a pleasure as one can create reservations online or using their mobile phones, pay earlier and from wherever they are to avoid crowded ques at ticketing offices.