Google Transit launched in Nairobi

Free app charts public transport in capital

Google Kenya has introduced a new online service that maps public transport routes in Nairobi, allowing passengers to plan their trips around the capital.

Launched in collaboration with Digital Matatus, Google Transit is a free feature of Google Maps and is available to download on Android and iOS devices.

The initiative by Google provides information on the roughly 130 routes operated by Nairobi's privately-owned minibuses, known locally as matatus, which transport about 3.5 million people around the capital each day. However despite the popularity of the matatu, until now there has been no mapping service of its routes or the official bus stops.

Nairobi is the first city in the east African region to have its transit information included in Google Maps, following other major hubs such as Lagos in Nigeria and Johannesburg in South Africa. Google recently began expanding in Kenya and several other African countries, with the launch of its Android One smartphone earlier this year.