Rush hour traffic in Metro Manila can be a terribly frustrating experience. Add rain, a payday weekend and mall-wide sales and you’re looking at hours of being stuck on the road. It’s a volatile combination that can leave you with a roiling case of road rage.
Fortunately, there are several apps and online resources that come in handy , especially when you’re in a hurry and need a miracle to get moving. So while we’re waiting for an app to make our car hover or teleport, these ones will do for now.
1. Waze (Free, iOS/Android)
Waze is unique in that it is both a social network and navigator at the same time. Its tagline, “outsmarting traffic together,” best describes this app. Waze lets you get to your destination via several routes—the fastest and the shortest. As you keep using Waze, it gets to know your favorite routes and will save them into its system. But the best aspect of Waze is its social network. Other Waze users on the road can make timely reports on traffic conditions, photos included, as well as more specific causes of bottlenecks and traffic jams, e.g. traffic accidents, repair work, etc. It also reports the presence of traffic enforcers, should you decide to run that yellow light past a certain intersection. If you’re bad with directions, you can even send your location to friends so they’ll know how to get to where you are. Waze also has a safety feature that prevents you from using the app when you’re on the move, unless you are the passenger doing the navigating. The app also lets you choose from several search engines when you’re looking for a specific location, ensuring that you’ll get accurate directions.
2. MMDA (Free, iOS/Android)
MMDA’s app is a favorite among motorists. It provides real-time traffic updates via a simple grid setup. Recent updates have also included weather information. The app will automatically create flash reports if certain roads are impassable due to floods or other weather-related situations. Another great feature is the FAQ section. No more arguing with a traffic enforcer over swerving or other traffic violations; you’ll be able to see for yourself what traffic violations you’ve committed as well as the corresponding penalties.
3. Google Maps (Free, iOS/Android)
While this app doesn’t contain any pertinent traffic information, the map is very accurate and its GPS navigation is so quick and responsive that it can correct its course whenever you make an unplanned turn, a handy tool to have when looking for a shortcut to avoid heavy traffic on major roads. •
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@MMDA—Metro Manila Development Authority has done a stellar job of keeping motorists updated on the latest situations around roads and highways. You can even ask information about certain areas that are previously unreported and the staff will get back to you with an answer.