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Seeing lack of info on bus routes, IT expert developed her own mobile app

Say Tola / Khmer Times Share:
Plong Malypoeur, creator an app ‘Stops Near Me Phnom Penh Bus’. Supplied

After experiencing numerous problems while riding on public transport, Plong Malypoeur decided to create a mobile application to make the experience easier. The result is “Stops Near Me Phnom Penh Bus”, an app that helps passengers find bus stops nearby simply by clicking on their smart devices.

Ms Malypoeur, creator of Stops Near Me Phnom Penh Bus and digital project manager at ABA Bank, said she started riding the bus as a way to enjoy her leisure time on weekends.

“After coming back from Belgium, some friends and I went for a ride on a public bus. Before we left, I tried to search for some information [about the bus route]. I found there was a lack of information. To find out where to catch the bus, I had to ask many people just to find the location,” Ms Malypoeur said.

There was some information about, but very little on where passengers could get on and off the bus. She decided it was really important to tackle the problem, and often thought about her tech knowledge could be applied to create a convenient solution.

“I was thinking about creating a mobile application anyone could use when thinking about taking public transportation. They can collect all the information they need and check the service. My goal was to make sure there was enough information available for all passengers,” Ms Malypoeur recalled.

She added, “This new mobile application can provide passengers with specific directions on where the bus goes and where the nearest bus stop is. When people are approaching the spot where they want to get off, the app will alert them 200 meters in advance. This gives them time to tell the driver. It also shows you which bus route to take to get to your destination. It is available in both Khmer and English, to serve both Cambodians and foreigners.”

Ms Malypoeur also urged people to use the application to share route locations, which is a new tool that was recently added.

“This new tool asks passengers whether they are on the bus or not. If yes, they can help to share that location. Clicking on ‘Share’ will allow others who use this app to see your bus on their map. If that bus is on the same line they are waiting for, they will be able to estimate how many minutes until the bus arrives. They can save time this way,” Ms Malypoeur said.

She spent almost a month creating the initial features of the app, which mainly involve the map overviews, notification settings, providing directions, and sharing the nearest location.

“The main problem I’ve encountered is the collection of data on bus stops. I have to mark them on Google Maps. Luckily, one of my friends helped me with this. So far we’ve had a total of 20,000 users, with daily active users totalling about 400 to 800,” Ms Malypoeur said.

Ms Malypoeur graduated with a master’s degree in electrical engineering focusing on ICT, and worked as a teaching assistant and researcher at KU Leuven – Campus Groep, Belgium. On returning to Cambodia, she taught mobile app development at the Royal University of Phnom Penh.

Stops Near Me Phnom Penh Bus is available for both Android and IOS.

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