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Analysis of the situation

Transportation issues have always been prevalent at Nelson Mandela University. Students
and staff travel to and from the several campuses using various transportation mediums. It
is expensive for students to use taxis, Uber and Taxify so students would rather use the less
costly option of shuttles which is very inconvenient at times. Shuttle operators to do not
follow scheduled times During peak hours, services like Uber become more expensive and
this increases demand for public transport and shuttles. However, there are not enough
shuttles for students to use because of the university’s financial constraints so students end
up waiting in long queues. Shuttles that are available are not enough for the student
population, they do not go to all destinations and they do not embrace the use of
technology which could alleviate certain issues. Shuttles are not available on weekends and
this leaves students stranded and not being able to conveniently access the institution. Each
year the university enrols more students but they do not address the problem of
transportation adequately. Not all students are privileged to have a car and depending
where they live, it is sometimes unsafe to use taxis especially at night. Taxis are not efficient
and reliable but they may be the only option some students have to move around. The
university cannot accommodate a lot of students on-campus and this results in people
opting for off-campus accommodation. Students who live close to campus can walk or cycle
but it is not an option available to everyone. The university does not have enough bike racks
so people are demotivated to cycle to school. Some students have to attend lectures at
different campuses so they need regular access to transportation services. Students who
have cars might opt to take shuttles because of a lack of parking space as well as security
concerns. Because taxi and shuttle operators work long hours and are paid low wages there
is a tendency for them to strike and this creates challenges for students to access various
campuses. Taxi and shuttle operators are ignorant to the safety of passengers and often
drive erratically. There also is a problem of overcrowding in taxis as operators aim to make
the maximize the amount of money made per trip. Certain taxis are not road worthy and are
prone to breakdowns leaving passengers stranded. Various university learning materials can
be accessed online but most lectures material can only be provisioned in person and this
increases the demand for transportation. There is congestion at the university created by
motor vehicles and no dedicated lane for public transportation. Shuttles and taxis do not
have wheelchair access and this contributes to the transportation problems some university
students face.

Unique means of the group…

Project description
The Ridealong
The Ridealong application is designed to help student get lifts to university and back home.
The problem many students face daily. If the busses or taxis are striking many students don’t
have transport to class and back home. Our new application called Ridealong will come to
their aid. You can pin your location and state where you need transport to. Then people who
are driving in their own cars and passing your location will be able to pick you up and you
can ride with them to university. There are no costs involved with using the Ridealong
application. We have designed the companies values based on Ubuntu. The most common
direct meaning given to the word is, "I am because of you," and this is found in the spirit of
the African people, who understand how important community, family, friendship, and
sharing are. By realising that every action we have affects and influences the lives of others,
and in return our lives are equally affected, we can learn to appreciate the community spirit
and family bonds which exist within African. Ubuntu is generally seen to be pointing to the
values and principles that it represents and our humanness and the value of community. It is
also thought to be about caring and sharing.
Passengers and drivers will have to create their own profile on the application. Passengers
and drivers should be able to effortlessly edit their own profiles: name, photo, phone number,
email, etc. The driver app should also include the driver’s license and information about the
vehicle (manufacturer and year of production, car class, color, license plate number) and its
photo. Both the driver and the passenger should be able to view each other’s profile. With
this information, they can recognize each other at the pickup location. This helps reduce
anxiety and gives a sense of security. At the core of our location-based application Ridealone
is the technology of GPS tracking. It allows to identify current locations of passengers and
drivers, draw paths between them, set pickup and drop-off locations. Passengers and drivers
should be able to rate each other after the trip is over. This feature helps maintain a high level
of service. Drivers with low ratings will eventually not be able to use the service. If a
passenger has a low rating, it can be harder for him to get a ride. Passengers should also be
able to provide feedback on their experience during the trip. This feedback will be shown in
the driver’s profile for others to view.


The Cost-benefit analysis is used to determine the economic feasibility of a project. The
university currently provides transportation of students to their off campus residences to the
public transport industry in the area at a cost through shuttle services. In the University’s
Integrated Annual Report (2017), it is stated that there is an increase in the demand for
shuttle services due to the increased number of students in accredited off-campus
accommodation in Port Elizabeth and Missionvale campuses. The shuttle services costs the
university approximately XXX per annum. Students drivers subscribed to the Ride-Along
Application who stay at off-campus residences will be able to provide lifts to students who
are staying at the same residence to and from the university campuses and be provided with
a monthly incentive of R500,00 for fuel. In 2017, the University had 4 693 accredited off-
campus beds and is estimated that about 2000 students have access to vehicles. The service
will be piloted in the first year with only 100 vehicles.

Project Development Costs

The Ride-Along application will not cost the university anything to develop and will have a
projected useful life of five years from the time it is deployed, at the beginning of the 2019
financial year. The University’s ICT students will be engaged to assist with the development
of a mobile/online app that will be also be compatible with Android and iOS platforms. The
University has already entered into an agreement with software providers such as Microsoft
for software licensing therefore no licensing fees will be applicable in this project. The ride-
along application will be hosted on the University ICT Data Centre therefore there is no cost
for infrastructure procurement.

Operational Costs
The maintenance cost of the application will be included in the ICT overall maintenance costs
for the institution.

Non-recurring costs

Recurring costs
Each subscribed driver will be paid an incentive of R500.00 per month costing the institution
approximately R600,000 per annum.