This year has been all work and little play for the winners of Green Capital’s digital challenge, but the founder of Crocodile app wouldn’t have it any other way.
“When they announced the challenge it wasn’t so much a light bulb but more ‘Ahhh this is what I have been looking for’,” says Kevin Ramm.
“It’s an exciting opportunity to do something I have been wanting to do for a long time – use digital technology to embrace an environmental and social benefit theme.”
He brought together a small team of developers and it was during one of their initial brainstorming sessions that they came up with the idea of the app.
The Crocodile app allows parents to view the walking bus routes nearest to them, book their child into their preferred route, check progress on the day and confirm that their child has arrived at school safely.
Walking buses and cycling trains is a greener and more active way for pupils to get to school safely, by foot or by bike, escorted by adult volunteers. Much like a regular bus or train, there are pick-up times as well as designated stops along the route.
“We fell in love with the idea of working with younger children and doing something significant by planting the ideas that there are better ways of getting to school than being in a car and more enjoyable ways,” says Kevin.
“To come up with an idea that goes across several areas: environmental benefit reducing pollution, take away risk of traffic congestion around the school gates and tackling sedentary lifestyles and childhood obesity – we love the fact that it seems to tick a lot of boxes,” says Kevin.
“With more than one million UK primary school children regularly commuting by car, a small percentage reduction by using the Crocodile app can make a big difference,” says Kevin.
The team got to work – but balancing the development of the technology with full-time jobs has been intense. Kevin has just given up his job to concentrate on seeing the app through its pilot project this month.
If all goes well they will look to roll the app out nationally, and possibly internationally.
Kevin says the level of interest in schools has been great: “The technology will help parents by making it easier for them to walk their kids to school.”
“Through this we hope we can support them to group together and get them to help each other out and join this club of people who are looking for support, but also are willing to help out and walk some children to school as well as their own
“We think this is different and it is not happening today as well as it could be.”