Articles worth reading

Metro News

Waze and Angkas

Waze, Angkas help commuters navigate metro traffic

account_balanceMetro News account_circlePaulo Rodriguez chat_bubble_outline0 Comments

Metro Manila residents are turning to mobile apps to reach their destinations through the shortest route and in the fastest time possible.

While Waze and Angkas have become essential tools in the daily struggle to avoid getting stuck in heavy traffic for hours, their growing popularity is also symptomatic of an increasingly worsening problem: The continued deterioration of the country’s public transportation system.

Same purpose

Advertisement

While vastly different in terms of functions, the two online apps share a single purpose: Find shortcuts.
Waze, which currently has 3 million users, is primarily a navigation app that uses crowdsourced information to generate optimized routes that allow users to save on time and money.

“Waze combines the wisdom of the crowd and local municipal data with some machine learning to reflect the most accurate road conditions, find optimized routes in real-time, calculate arrival estimations, and inform future city planning decisions,” Waze country manager Sarah Rodriguez said in an e-mail interview. “Every level of involvement, however small, extends beyond a single drive to impact roads, cities and lives.”

Patricia Mendez, who has been using Waze almost every day for five years, relies heavily on the app because it generates routes in which the estimated time of arrival is almost always predictable.

Mendez, who works as a reservations officer for a travel agency based in Makati City, uses the navigation app often during peak hours. It helps her avoid congested highways by taking her through residential streets, saving her almost an hour of travel.

“It’s not [accurate] all the time,” she said. “But it does the job.”

Critics, however, point out that Waze merely displaces the traffic into areas not normally traversed by vehicles, like subdivisions and inner roads.

But now, even the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority is pushing for the use of private roads to help decongest the main highways.

Motorcycle taxis

As passengers of four-wheeled vehicles stew in heavy traffic, others breeze through on motorcycle taxis hired through the Angkas app.

Angkas is currently undergoing a six-month pilot test which, if successful, may persuade Congress to amend Republic Act No. 4136, which bars the two-wheelers from being used for public transport.

According to George Royeca, Angkas public affairs head, it takes 35 minutes to traverse 15 kilometers on a regular Angkas ride. Commuter groups have been pushing for the 10-10-10 principle, where it should take one hour to traverse 10 kilometers for a trip to be considered convenient and efficient.

Maia Legson, a web designer working in Taguig City, is a regular Angkas passenger. For a fare of P188, it takes her 20 minutes to reach SM Aura from her house in Libertad. Two jeepney rides (P9 per ride) would take her an hour and a half.

“At first, I was apprehensive because Angkas is expensive (compared to public transport). But when I think about the sacrifices I have to make and the difficulties I have to endure on the road, I think it’s a fair tradeoff.”

Like Legson, 23-year-old Maedelle Vargas has also gotten used to booking an Angkas ride to get to her office in Taguig every day.

“If I commute, it would take me five rides and over an hour to arrive, [plus] I would have to wake up early and leave the house around 6:45 a.m. just to arrive at 8 a.m.,” she said. “Even a normal Grab ride would take an hour and a half while Angkas will take 30-45 minutes.”

But the speed and convenience do not make up for the glaring lack of options for regular commuters, said Dr. John Go of the World Health Organization.

Safety also important

“When we look at Angkas, we shouldn’t simply regard it as the ultimate solution, but also look at why it is being offered and whether there are alternative options,“ he said during a road safety conference. “Moving from Point A to B is important. But moving from Point A to B safely is [also] important.”

For its part, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) maintains that it is doing its best to beef up the country’s public transport system starting with the light rail systems.

The DOTr is currently building several extensions to the existing three major train lines in the metropolis. It is also considering walkways for pedestrians and biker lanes.

But while these projects remain in the pipeline, commuters have no choice but to rely on Waze and Angkas.


date_rangeDate Published
2 years ago
shareShare article
folder_openArticle tags
content_copyCategorized under

Share your thoughts with us

Related Articles

ADB reduces Asia growth forecast

account_balanceMetro Manila chrome_reader_mode1 day ago

The Asian Development Bank warned of "lasting scars" from the coronavirus pandemic as it cut its 2021 growth forecast for developing Asia on slow vaccination rates, surging infections and crippling lockdowns, according to a report by Agence...

Photo courtesy of TPB Philippines

Hybrid world tourism summit to be held in PH

account_balanceMetro Manila chrome_reader_mode1 day ago

The Philippines is set to host the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit in March 2022, the Department of Tourism (DOT) official said in a report by Philippine News Agency. The event was supposed to be held in the Philippines ...

DOLE discovers fake certificates of involuntary separation 

account_balanceMetro Manila chrome_reader_mode2 days ago

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has warned the public against the use of unofficial and counterfeit Certificates of Involuntary Separation, according to a report by Philippine News Agency. The DOLE-Bureau of Local Employment (BLE)...

Covid-19 recoveries exceed new cases

account_balanceMetro Manila chrome_reader_mode1 day ago

The country's overall tally of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients who beat the disease has reached 2,217,611 as 24,059 new recoveries were recorded as of Sept. 22, according to a report by Philippine News Agency. The Department of Heal...

Let's Stay Connected Like us on our Facebook page.
×
Click on the article to continue reading
Quezon City adopts no contact apprehension system Red Cross pushes saliva test Vaccines from COVAX to arrive in Q1 Makati Shangri-La to close doors on Feb. 1 Cities in NCR to start vaccination simultaneously Mother, girlfriend of Filipino infected with UK variant also test positive Send Press Release MNC Facebook Page MNC Twitter Page MNC Instagram Page LGU Spotlight Barangay Front Business Sports Entertainment Metro Gen Metro Feature