Digital Matatus

Digital Matatus

Digital Matatus is a joint project between MIT, Columbia University, Groupshot and the University of Nairobi that is attempting to map Nairobi’s informal transit system.

Product description Brand name and product description

Digital Matatus uses mobile data collection to map the routes of Matatus, or private buses. They used this data to develop mobile routing application and a map of the transit system. Their goal is to develop a framework that can be utilized to map transit systems across the world.

Informational video

Target region(s) Target region for distribution/implementation (listed by country if specified)

Currently operating in Nairobi, but they are working to expand to further cities.

“We continue to work in Nairobi but aim to build a support network for other cities. We have also started a formal partnership with TransportforCairo to map more of Cairo.” Interview with representative

Distributors/implementing organizations Organization(s) distributing/deploying this product directly to communities/individuals?"

– University of Nairobi


– Columbia University

Market suggested retail price Price per unit or service price per usage/terms (USD). Subsidies noted.


Competitive landscape Similar products available on the market. May not be a comprehensive listing.

– WhereIsMyTransport

– Google Maps

– Bing Maps

– Apple Maps

– Regional transportation’s existing systems

SDG targeted United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targeted with this product/application/service

Goal 9: Infrastructure

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities

Target user(s) Target user/consumer base (country, income segment)

Currently the end user of the application will be anyone using public transit in Nairobi.

Eventually they hope to work with cities and regional transport authorities to setup partnerships to collect data and map transit systems.

The @AutodeskFdn blogged about our how-to guide for communities writing proposals for development projects