After a success in CME’s competition, “Re-imagine Lebanon,” the six AUB student winners decided to take their project YallaBus into the market with hopes of solving traffic and public transportation in Lebanon.
Graphic Design student Yara Nassar, Industrial Engineering student Therese Keyrouz, ECE students Ghassan Zughaib and Johnny El Hajj, Civil Engineering student Georges Geha, as well as Business student Pia Saghbini, are the pioneers behind YallaBus.
The group decided to tackle traffic and public transportation during “Re-imagine Lebanon,” which aimed to find solutions to recurrent problems in the country.
“If there is one thing that everyone complains about in Lebanon, it is definitely traffic,” said member Yara Nassar. “If the government does not take matters into its own hands, it is our responsibility to do so.”
The ingenious solution they came up with is an application, YallaBus, that would encourage people to use the buses more by providing them with an organized and detailed platform that gives the current location and potential destination of each bus in Lebanon.
The students were provided with $10,000 to fund and kickstart the project.
The application maps the user’s path, from current location to destination, indicating the route to take in order to get to the bus stop, the cost of travel, and the bus number.
The application has several features, such as the ability to book a seat, which sends a notification to the driver, and payment through the application, which helps avoid the inconvenience of having the driver stop in the middle of the road for the transaction.
YallaBus takes into consideration its users’ experience and feedback as it lets them rate the safety, cleanliness, and overall atmosphere of the travel.
The group is working hard on the development of their project, and is planning on collaborating with the Ministry of Public Transports, as well as the Ministry of Economy.
CME, the company that launched the competition, will also be heavily involved in the process of bringing the project to life by helping the students with its implementation.
During an engaging interview, group members Therese Keyrouz and Yara Nassar expressed their aspirations for the future enrichment of YallaBus.
They are planning on expanding to school networks, to help worried parents track their children’s buses, seeing as tardiness and engine breakdowns are more than common.
Another potential option explores tapping into the tourism sector and organizing bus tours to Tripoli, Sour, Saida, and more.
Finally, another brilliant offer they plan on adding is a student package, which consists of a certain monthly amount, as opposed to each individual ride, and being able to take the bus as many times as necessary during that period of time.
The idea behind this initiative is to encourage citizens to use buses, which would eventually solve the traffic problem, or at least reduce it significantly.
The project is still in development, but the future’s looking bright for this group of ambitious students who are eager to present their final product to the public and enhance the experience of public transportation in Lebanon.