Hamilton bus users can now easily check their bus timetable on-the-go thanks to 18-year old Kaethe Basoc.
The Vision College Software Engineering and Design student has designed a free Android app, called BusIT NZ. It allows users to check bus timetables, routes, and fare information for all Hamilton buses.
“Without the app, Hamilton bus users must physically walk to their nearest bus stop to check this information, or navigate through the Busit website,” Kaethe said.
“This doesn’t suit busy people who are out-and-about and need to get bus information quickly. Basically, the BusIT NZ app provides users with information when and where they need it.”
Creating the app was a component of Kaethe’s one year Vision College Diploma in Software Engineering and Design, which she completed last month.
While all students in her class individually created mobile apps, Kaethe is the only one so far to make her Android app available on Google Play.
“Developing an app on our own was just one part of a very comprehensive course. Overall the diploma enabled us, in just one year, to learn traditional programming techniques and also the latest industry standards.”
She says the most challenging aspect of the app development project was coding a city map included in her app.
“BusIT NZ has a map that marks all Hamilton bus stops. Customising this was difficult and required working with Google Maps API, which I hadn’t done before. Overall, the best bit was completing something that worked! That’s a great feeling.”
Kaethe says the idea for the app came from her own experience missing buses.
“I don’t have a car, so taking the bus is my main mode of transport in Hamilton. To get to Vision College on time each day I needed to check the timetable at my nearest stop. Often the bus would go past just as I approached!” she said.
“Now I use the app as I go from place to place. It tells me where the nearest stop is and when I can catch the bus. I hope that other people in my situation will find it as useful as I do!”
She says the app “isn’t perfect” yet and she wants to make some improvements.
“Eventually I would also like to add real-time information to the app. This would require working with Busit Hamilton to connect with their database at the bus depot.
“Then I could add a notification feature so that people are alerted when their bus is a few minutes away.”
Tutor Savio Azavedo said Kaethe, and her fellow students, are setting themselves up for a bright future with practical ICT experience under their belts.
“The ICT industry is growing rapidly and also quickly changing. There is increasing demand for people with mobile technology and web development skills,” he said. “However having theoretical knowledge of the subject is not sufficient to get a job in the IT industry, it needs to be backed up by practical skills. I encourage my students to have a portfolio of apps on the Google Play store to show prospective employers their work.”
Having finished her diploma, Kaethe is now undertaking a Bachelor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences (BCMS) at the University of Waikato.