A few months back, Tech in Asia enumerated some of the real-time traffic apps in the Philippines. Following this, we might see more apps that can help Filipinos (and tourists) easily find their way in the different cities and provinces throughout the Philippines.
How? The Philippines’ Department of Transport and Communications, together with Metro Manila Development Authority and Cebu City Government, hosted a national transport app development competition, The Philippine Transit App Challenge. Of the 17 entries, five promising transport apps stood out:
It’s basically a web-app to guide commuters who plan to get around Metro Manila by train. There are four train lines in the Philippines. Stations of these train lines are not fully interconnected like trains in Singapore and Hong Kong. So the app can now be a way for passengers to easily know the nearest train station from where he or she is located to where they are headed to.
In addition to the graphic guide, a sidebar also shows more information like how long trip will take, how to walk from one station to another, and the cost of a specific trip.
Sakay.ph provides web- and SMS-based directions for commuters who intend to ride jeepneys, buses, and trains in Metro Manila. It’s a bit similar to Manila Train Guide except it doesn’t only cover train routes. It also shows the estimated fare for each ride and the time it takes to get to one’s destination.
Commuters can get route directions via SMS by sending “route” followed by place of origin to destination. However, the team says people who use this feature will have to be more specific when keying in locations because it won’t have the auto-populate feature like the web app. Meanwhile, people who intend to use the web app can print the directions as shown on the site.
Rklamo team taps into the high number of Jeepneys by allowing passengers to incentivize well-behaved jeepney drivers. The app lets passengers can give drivers a tip via SMS. The team hopes this app will urge jeepney drivers to adjust their driving behavior to earn more.
Like the apps above, Transit aims to provide directions for commuters to plan their commute using publicly-available means of transportation in the Philippines. The web app and mobile app currently have routes in some of areas of Cebu City. And to improve the app, commuters themselves can contribute a route that’s familiar to them.
A crowdsourced trip provider for Filipino commuters. Apart from planning routes, Trip Barker users can both get and report information on the web-app like weather, traffic, and events in real-time with other users. It also has a low-bandwidth web-app version for feature phone users. It can show points-of-interest to users such as restaurants and malls. It also has an events tab where users can keep track of concerts and bazaars.
Apart from the government, the Philippine Transit App Challenge has also been supported by local and international institutions such as Philippine telco Smart Communications and its subsidiaries – telco Sun Cellular, app maker Voyager Innovations and incubator IdeaSpace Foundation. Worldbank and Mozilla also contribute. These apps, which recently were no more than ideas, could become part of every commuter’s tool in their day-to-day travel to work or school.
(Editing by Paul Bischoff)
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