Over the years with social media becoming a common term, the madness of having a website shifted to having a Facebook page . This year it is about building a mobile app for everything, with less thinking invested behind the objective of building one. So when I first read about Pune Traffic Police launching a mobile app for citizens of Pune, I wasn’t excited. To an extent my excitement was killed after I recently reviewed the not so useful app from Gurgaon Traffic Police. The intent was there but the execution had many flaws.
Today again I was reminded about the Pune Traffic Police (PTP) app after I happened to chance upon a story stating that it has seen close to 9000 plus downloads and has got a good response from the people.
“On an average, about 1,000 people download the app every day. About 75 percent of the downloads have been made by users in Pune city, followed by 15 percent in Mumbai, and 10 percent in the Pimpri-Chinchwad area.”
Without wasting time I downloaded the Android app from the Google Playstore. After using for more than a day now, I can firmly say that the app is the perfect pocket size medicine for a common man to solve most of his traffic related issues.
The app has an English as well as a Marathi version as shown in the below image. I opted for the English version to begin with and did try the Marathi option later. Having a local language option is very useful but will need some more work for complete support to the local language. The below screen grab also gives you a quick look of the home screen - which is big, attractive, with colorful icons to entice the user.
PTP App features
First time users are asked to check the User Manual first - a great feature for someone who might not be accustomed to the present app generation. While the app has pulled up some important contact details during urgency but the ‘Nearest Police Stations’ feature stands out. Features like Pune City Police, Traffic Branch provide the much required contact details during emergency.
Nearest Police Stations launches Google Maps where by you can find required police station based on location. Besides you can search for police stations under the feature Pune City Police - Pune Police Stations.
Another useful information for a commuter is to find out the real time condition of the traffic, specially with monsoons already on. Live Traffic feature is the answer to this worry where you can drill in the map and find out condition of the traffic based on indicators such as slow to fast movement of traffic.
There are some more additional information - Road Safety Tips, Useful Websites, Road Marking, Traffic Signage and a FAQ on traffic rules and guidelines. These additional features will not only educate you about the law but also empower you and protect you from swindling traffic policemen.
Getting their vehicle towed by the traffic police is a common problem commuters face for their own mistake. In such situations the PTP app comes to your rescue; tap the on ‘Towed Vehicle’ feature, search the area from where the vehicle was towed and you would get a contact number to inquire about your vehicle.
If the above listed reasons are not enough to convince you to download the PTP app then Auto Fare feature will do. Ask someone from a metro or a non-metro city if they are not scared to indulge with an auto driver because of their dodgy meters and attitude. The fear becomes even more acute if you are traveling at odd hours.
Keeping this in mind, PTP has included the ‘Auto Fare’ feature which has two life saving sub-features - Fare Chart and Prepaid Auto Rickshaw. Fare Chart helps you to calculate day and night fares in the city based on the distance traveled. The Prepaid Auto Rickshaw feature tells you where can you get them, search for the area where you want to go and it calculates the fare for you. That sure is a big relief for someone who is traveling first time to Pune!
Should you have this app?
Yes. This is one app that you should have in your mobile for the above mentioned life saving features. Design wise the app is simple, elegant and has been built keeping the common man in mind. Easy to access, consume information and with much required guidance on how to use the app. The app has no glitches so far and does the job neatly.
PTP’s app not only empowers citizens on the road but sets a benchmark for other cities to follow.
Do give the app a try. I am sure you won’t be disappointed at all and a round of applause for Pune City Traffic Police for the concept and Hardcastle for developing the app.