GoMetro, the homegrown public transportation map application that has won a number of awards locally as well as abroad, is from today catering to a much wider audience than before – in all 11 official languages.

GoMetro Mini is a new mobi site has been developed specifically to make it easier for older phone users to use.

“This is the first transport app that is truly accessible to all South Africans. Users will be able to choose from Sepedi, Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho, Tswana, Venda, Tsonga, Ndebele, Swati & Afrikaans to get train and bus times for all major cities in South Africa, in their own mother tongue,” GoMetro said in a media statement.

The low-data mobi site, which works best with an older Blackberry or a Nokia phones, was developed by Reginald Ledwaba, an intern working for GoMetro. On a challenge by CEO Justin Coetzee to create a webpage that uses much less data than the normal application, Ledwaba manage to pull it off in just 20 days.

“After observing that high data charges were preventing commuters from accessing GoMetro, Coetzee challenged Reginald to build a multi-lingual and simplified version of the site that is optimized for these older devices, and for people who would not have accessed the internet at all yet.”

The company has been making a lot of in-roads in the last couple of months, grabbing attention on the world stage as well. It recently won a MEF Award at the Global Mobile Forum in San Francisco, for the Best Innovation in a Growth Market, and managed to score second place at the International Get in the Ring Business Investment Pitching Competition, in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

“Over the last 2 years, we have noticed GoMetro is sometimes the first internet site that a commuter from a township in South Africa will have ever visited. Local transport information is very relevant content for commuters of all languages, and hearing about GoMetro motivates some users to try use the internet for the very first time,” Coetzee ended.

[Source – GoMetro]
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.