Metro’s traffic situation may now be monitored via smart phones, tabletsBy Niña P. Calleja
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines — Monitoring the traffic flow in the metropolis’ major thoroughfares is now at the motorists’ fingertips with the latest addition to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s digitized traffic information system.
That is only if they have smart phones and tablet computers with online connection.
The MMDA’s Traffic Mirror, a website allowing motorists to view real-time video feed of the latest traffic situation on the road, was presented to the media and other officials of the MMDA at its headquarters on Monday.
“Our purpose is to empower the ordinary motorists, pedestrians and even the businessmen. Why would you still use a road when you already know it’s already blocked?” MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino told reporters during the launch.
Tolentino said the newest project was aimed at helping the public make informed choices on the road. The idea was even pitched by President Aquino, Tolentino said.
He said a smart phone or a tablet computer with a 3G or online connection would be needed in monitoring nine major areas, which the MMDA considers chokepoints during rush hour.
The website (http://MMDA.NowPlanet.TV) provides video feed from nine closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed along EDSA, C-5 Road and Commonwealth Avenue.
“With the MMDA Traffic mirror, motorists can see the actual traffic and flood situations in these three major roads, minus the cost that usually comes with these applications,” Tolentino said.
Tolentino noted that the project which gives a boost to the digitized traffic information system of the MMDA hit the road at no cost to the government.
Information Capital Technology Ventures , a telecommunication and media technology firm based in Makati City, was tapped in the project through a public private partnership agreement.
The private company shoulders the cost in the set up and maintenance of the website and actually earns through the advertisements posted on the site.
Now, motorists can choose among different media to be able to get the latest traffic information.
The most active and popular is the MMDA’s twitter account @MMDA, which as of Monday already has 555,967 followers.
In an interview earlier, lawyer Yves Gonzales, the MMDA’s traffic discipline director, who also oversees the agency’s social media services, said the twitter team would respond to queries about traffic situation within one or two minutes.
The MMDA also has mobile applications for iPhones and other android phones which are available for download for free. These mobile apps would allow the motorists to have a bird’s eye view of the traffic situation in Metro Manila, Gonzalez said.
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