Meet our Mobility Artists: Devin De Vries
During the UITP Summit in Stockholm you will be inspired by speakers from all over the world, coming from every industry within the public transport sector. Celebrating the Summit’s theme “the Art of Public Transport“, we believe that each speaker is a mobility artist in her or his own way, working to craft the perfect urban journey.
Our seventh and last mobility artist is an Idea Composer! As an innovative thinker, Devin de Vries has the courage to experiment with new ideas, create new schemes and techniques and compose solutions in a way that many could never have imagined. Above all, Devin is excited about the future of urban mobility! His natural leadership skills, fresh perspective and ability to put ideas in motion are exactly what our sector needs as it faces the mobility challenges of today and tomorrow.
“The rapid growth of mobility systems demands that decision makers apply innovative thinking to meet these unprecedented challenges in their cities.”
Devin is the CEO and co-founder of the mobility tech startup WhereIsMyTransport. After graduating from the University of Cape Town with a bachelor’s degree in Business Science: Information Systems in 2007, Devin and his fellow co-founders Chris King and Dave New started building their company in their garage. They now have a team of 40 employees, spread across their offices in London and Cape Town, with whom they collect and process public transport data on emerging cities. These complex networks are a multimodal mix of informal and forma means of transit, whether that be a Matatu in Kenya or a Minibus in South Africa.
Can you describe what your presentation at the UITP Summit will be about?
As part of the ‘A Data-Driven Business’ panel, I will be discussing the topic of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and the new mobility paradigm within emerging cities globally. I will be exploring how having unprecedented access to public transport data via an integrated and centralised platform helps emerging cities build sustainable mobility solutions. I bring a unique perspective on mobility challenges from an emerging city context.
Why is innovation a key factor for the public transport sector?
Mobility challenges in emerging cities are complex, dynamic and ever-changing. With the flexibility and accelerated growth of mobility systems, cities and decision makers need to meet these changes with innovative thinking. At WhereIsMyTransport, we believe that having access to accurate data is the foundation for innovative solution building.
What is your dream scenario, when thinking about the future of urban mobility?
In my dream scenario, the future of urban mobility is built on the principle of every citizen having access to public transport information, giving them the possibility to exercise their right to freedom of movement. In the future, urban mobility will empower every citizen to get to where they want to go.
What does “The Art of Public Transport” mean to you?
When I think of “The Art of Public Transport”, mobility networks spring to mind. Public transport in emerging markets are dynamic, they are constantly evolving over time, always adapting to ridership demand. While developed cities can be compared to the precise, clearly defined work of Piet Mondrian, informal public transport networks look more like a Jackson Pollock, a frolic of abstracted lines. The theme perfectly represents mobility networks in both developed and emerging cities across the globe.
Harvesting innovation is one of the seven main topics of the Summit. Want to discover the full programme? Download the full brochure!
Are you an Idea Composer just like Devin? Take the quiz and find out!