MMDA, Waze unite vs traffic
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has partnered with transportation app Waze in a bid to better provide commuters and motorists alike in the capital a more efficient and real-time traffic information.
Through Waze’s “Connected Citizens Program,” MMDA officer in charge and general manager Tim Orbos said that the public will become better informed of less congested routes to take, since traffic data will not only come from the agency’s own monitoring system but also from motorists on the ground.
Last year, flash floods triggered an hours-long traffic standstill in Metro Manila’s streets. Several motorists took to various transport apps to help them get to their destinations. However, some were led to flooded streets which appeared to be less congested roads, because of lack of accurate information.
Orbos said that with their partnership, motorists can now “better decide” on the routes they can take as the MMDA will now share with the transport app real-time data on traffic-congested and flooded areas, and road accidents and road closures. On its end, Waze will send in “anonymous, Waze-generated incident and slow-down information” gathered from drivers on the road.
MMDA assistant general manager for operations Julia Nebrija called the data exchange program entered into by the agency a “win-win partnership.”
“MMDA’s data will contribute to better routes, and Waze data will give MMDA wider incident coverage and public outreach, which we can study to improve our traffic management today and in the long term,” Nebrija said in a statement on Friday.
Orbos said that the MMDA is the first Philippine government agency to partner with Waze’s Connected Citizens Program, which was launched in October 2014 to give government officials “an unprecedented look at real-time road activity, empowering partners to harness real-time driver insights to improve congestion and make better informed planning decisions.” Currently, the program has over 100 partners agencies in Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles and Jakarta, among others.
In Metro Manila, which was ranked in 2015 by Waze users to have “the worst traffic in the world, over 1 million individuals are using the transport app.
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