Written by Omar Rabie – DEMENA Innovation Cup Winner
Four years ago I read an article about a critical issue we face in Egypt: We have reached over 2.5 million cars just inside Cairo, in a city with roads designed to accommodate just 500,000 cars! The issues of resulting air pollution, traffic jams, wasted time, and inefficiency in all aspects of life have always concerned me, but I never knew where or how to start..
Until a couple of months ago I received an invitation from a friend of mine to apply for the DEMENA Innovation Cup, held in partnership with ICE Cairo. I applied and on the first day of the camp I was just amazed, I spent what I could call 3 days of changing perceptions, opening up my mind to whole new things, meeting diverse people, and attending workshops. Everything was just amazing; the camp was focused on overcoming challenges in three main sectors: environment, agriculture and transportation. And the innovation begun!
Brainstorming on innovative solutions to the top three challenges in Egypt was no easy task. Only when Innovation Cup mentor Jay Cousins surprised us with his magic question did my group and I start pitching ideas. “What do you hate the most?”, he asked us, “and make it more positive”. The answer was simply “wasting time in commutes”. And that was the spark for a Double-Decker bus idea. With this bus you can make use of your time efficiently, enjoy the travel with a good book or a newspaper from the small library, while having your coffee, listening to music, sitting in a very comfy seat, not to mention the option to charge your phone using a solar cell panel.
Our initiative is about changing a community perspective towards public transportation. Hence, instead of increasing the roads and tunnels, we can replace 60 private cars with only one Double Decker “Auto-Peace”. Not only will this solve the traffic jam and reduce wasted time, but also decrease carbon dioxide emissions of private cars-cutting down over 9480 gm/km of carbon dioxide. We’re also looking to cut expenditures, as with this bus one can spend just $1 on the bus ticket instead of spending an average of $3/day on fuel for cars regardless of the operational cost, so with this project will be increasing the air quality, finding a cost efficient solution, affecting the community socially, economically and environmentally
Our first step will be building a prototype for the bus. Eventually, this will lead us to apply all these features on the double-decker bus. Later on spreading it all over Egypt’s cities, increasing people efficiency, reaching a smooth traffic, and fresh air