The city – João Pessoa
This month we revisit the first ever city mapped by the Moovit Community, João Pessoa in Brazil. The city is the capital of the state of Paraíba and is home to approximately 770,000 people, about one sixth of the state’s entire population. All together, the entire metropolitan area includes approximately 1.2 million inhabitants. João Pessoa is considered to be one of the greenest cities in the world, based on the tree and foliage coverage lining the avenues and covering the parks and residential areas. This greenery is measured at 7 square kilometers across the city and is complimented by a 20km stretch of golden beaches. João Pessoa is considered to be the third oldest in the whole of Brazil and this is reflected in the architecture of the historical city center. Located on the easternmost point of the South Atlantic Ocean, the city has been aptly nickmaed as the city where the sun rises first in the Americas. João Pessoa’s residents are free to travel with a public network of bus, train and ferry routes.
The Ambassador – Vítor
An avid fan of the football championships in the state of Minas Gerais, Vítor is also one of the pioneers of the first ever Community mapped cities. Vítor, who lived in João Pessoa back in 2014, was interested in collaborative transit data projects and gathered information about the city’s public transport routes to upload to open data platform, but this information was not, at the time, easily accessible to the general public. Vítor recounts, “With Moovit, the possibility of making this information available to the population of João Pessoa was an immediate attraction.” In 2014 Vítor moved to the southern city of Belo Horizonte and wanted to perform the same great deed as he had in João Pessoa, but this time his approach differed because the city was a sprawling metropolis. With Vítor’s enthusiasm, Moovit’s Brazilian Country Manager was able to approach both the inner-city and the union of the metropolitan transport operators, BHTrans and SINTRAM respectively who were ready to share their data. With this huge mass of data on the entire area of Belo Horizonte, the Community was able to create a full picture of the transport system and share it with the general public.
João Pessoa and Belo Horizonte were just the beginning of the glory days for Vítor and since then he has gone from strength to strength, being part of the mapping teams for six projects that cover dozens of cities and municipalities. Vítor explained, “I am inspired by the possibility of bringing more accurate and detailed information to the population of each city. In two of these cities, for example, there was even available data about the stops where the lines passed, but sometimes people can’t visualize in their minds the shape of the line and through which places the bus will pass, and this all becomes possible with Moovit.” Throughout the past three years Vítor has faced some challenges whilst mapping, for example a lack of information on certain lines and having to use his practiced deduction skills. However, when these are not enough, Vítor is even dedicated enough to travel to some of the cities he is mapping to physically gather information for the routes! Even though this can be time-consuming, Vítor states, “… I was fortunate enough to do this twice in the past few months.” The remarkable Brazilian Ambassador is currently mapping yet another city in the state of Minas Gerais, and he doesn’t pause for air to tell us about the next city he plans to map, Sete Lagoas in Belo Horizonte. Here’s to you Vítor! To your devotion in bringing transport information to hundreds of cities in Brazil and to fulfilling your dream to create that almanac of Minas Gerais’ football championships!
Wishing you the happiest of Christmases and a glorious new year too, from all of the Moovit Team.