Monday, July 20, 2009


Of all the taxes and shit that the government put us through, traffic updates should be that one thing the government should offer for free. But what do you know? Even the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority does not even do that. A supposed public service for the people and they don't have it.

And, you say? Well apparently, you have to subscribe i.e., pay PHP2.50 per update/text message to know if EDSA will give you hell this time of the day. They are also in cahoots with their partner radio stations, which you should listen to first and be bombarded with idiotic DJs and equally idiotic music, to get to know what's up in the road right now.

We all know that the traffic jam in Metro Manila is as perennial as a trapo promising us better roads, but what can we do? We cope. We get should get real-time traffic updates.

That's what my friend Z and I conceived the idea of getting free updates thru @trafficmanila at Twitter. The concept is pretty easy: it's people helping other people get through traffic jams. You send a direct message (DM) to @trafficmanila, and a bot tweets your DMs to the @trafficmanila account.

You, i.e., Cassandra de Leos, may think it's pretty useless for people who are already on the road (because you can't get updated on traffic unless you're subcribed to SunAlertz or something), but it can be beneficial for people about to leave the office/house/anywhere: They can plan their route ahead and steer away from the congested areas.

This project, if you want to call it that, is really a group/community effort. It's not really free if you have to give up PHP1.00 to post using phtwitters, but what's PHP1.00 if you get traffic updates in return?

So far, it's been a two-man job with Z and me updating the Twitter account once in a while. We can cover the C5-Kalayaan-The Fort and Aguinaldo Highway-Coastal-Andrew's Avenue route. But come on, people! Let's make this work! We really hope @trafficmanila takes off so there will be less traffic jam victims and less irate drivers.

How to use @trafficmanila

1. With your Twitter account, send a direct message to @trafficmanila: DM (space) @trafficmanila (space) (yourmessage).

2. Using your cellphone, sign up for phtwitters so you can update @trafficmanila with your cellphone, then text TWITD (space) (trafficmanila) (space) (message) and send to either +63-923-8852052/ 63-916-4967171 / 63-929-3632359.

For more idiot-proof how to visit Z's post about @trafficmanila

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