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New app to keep track of ferry schedule launched

Maude Chiasson has developed an app that will help users keep track of their ferry schedules. (Photograph supplied)

A woman who developed an app that helps commuters keep track of the ferry service said that she hoped to add a feature that would follow the boats in real time.

Maude Chiasson, 33, said that she released her free app Transportation Bermuda at the beginning of the summer as a way to give people easier access to the ferry schedule.

She added that she wanted to one day implement satellite technology that would track each boat and give users a more accurate idea of where their ferry was at any time.

Ms Chiasson said: “It’s something that is easy to implement but we should talk to the Department of Transportation first to make sure that they are okay with it.”

She added: “I’m kind of proud of myself. It’s simple but I think it’s useful.

“It was something that I’ve alway wanted to do – to develop an app – so I figured it would be a nice easy project to do.

“I hope it’s a good demonstration that anyone can leverage technology and that it’s not only for big tech companies.”

Ms Chiasson, from Paget, said that she was inspired to create the app after she and her husband moved to Bermuda from Montreal and stayed on Hinson Island.

She said that she wanted to create an app for herself and her neighbours that would provide faster and more direct access to the ferry schedule that cut out the need to look through the Government website or find a printed copy.

Ms Chiasson said: “I know that we’re always struggling to get the schedule and I figured if we have something on our phone and we always have our phone with us it would be easier for us to get the schedule.”

She added: “I was always looking at tourists taking pictures of the schedule at the ferry terminal, so I figured it would be nice just to have an app so at least when I’m somewhere else and I need to get the ferry then I would have the schedule on my phone.

Ms Chiasson said that she had a background in data analysis which helped her with the app, but that she taught herself how to code.

She added that she carried out her research while she looked after her daughter, now aged 18 months.

Ms Chiasson said: “I had my daughter at home with me, so I was doing that while she was napping in the afternoon.”

She said that development started in January and took her about four months to finish.

Ms Chiasson said she demonstrated the app to friends before she released it to the public in May.

She added that, although many people were not using her app at the time of release because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government lockdown that came with it gave her the opportunity to perfect Transportation Bermuda.

Ms Chiasson explained: “We stayed home so I had really nothing to do.

“I really started to focus and work a little bit harder during the pandemic because we were all home so I had time to develop those skills.”

Ms Chiasson said that she wanted to add a feature that keep track of the common routes and times taken by the user, but eventually decided against it.

She admitted: “I don’t have a company so I wanted to do something straightforward.”

Ms Chiasson said that she was open to the addition of different features to the app, such as the ability to pay fares with money transfers through the app.

She added that this was the first version of Transportation Bermuda and the “possibilities with the app are infinite”.

Transportation Bermuda can be downloaded at the Apple app store.

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Published November 02, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated November 01, 2020 at 9:59 pm)

New app to keep track of ferry schedule launched

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