This Monday, OpenBelgium 2015, a congress about Open Data in Belgium, took place in Namur. During the presentation of the NextRide app, their founder, Thomas Hermine, has announced his desire to extend the project to Flemish buses and trams, as well as trains, and launched a call for Open Data to the big two actors of mobility, SNCB-NMBS and De Lijn.
NextRide is the companion of more than 80,000 users of public transports in Belgium. Created in 2012 as a student project, NextRide has found its place in the world of mobility in Belgium, especially thanks to a partnership with the TEC in June 2013, and the STIB-MIVB in June 2014. It’s through Open Data, the possibility for anyone to access to public institutions’ data, that the project has been born.
Since then, the project hasn’t been stopping growing, forging partnerships and enriching its app with unique functionalities (off-line mode, crowdsourced disruptions, etc.).
« The OpenBelgium would not have invited us two years ago. We were young, not much experienced, and we wanted to revolutionize public transports. We still want to change the way public transports are seen, but now we have thousands of users by our side and partnership with many actors in mobility », revealed Thomas, founder of NextRide.
At OpenBelgium 2015, the Minister Jean-Claude Marcourt insisted on the importance of innovation and digital in the future of Belgium. The role of public institutions in the dynamic of Open Data, which underpin all these (r)evolutions, has been approached in the congress.
NextRide’s founder took this opportunity during his presentation:
« We want to continue our battle to revolutionize Belgium’s mobility by improving the way public transports are seen. At this point, all we need is the help of De Lijn and SNCB-NMBS to provide the most complete information for Belgium. That’s why today, we are asking them on Twitter to open their data. And we invite all the people who support our project and open data to tweet them in their turn… »
The ball is now in the transport agencies’ court.