Drive stress-free in Manila with these apps

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Manila is a tough city to navigate, especially with the worsening traffic situation.

Rather than getting stressed while stuck in unmoving traffic, there are apps that can help you improve your driving experience. From navigating the city to getting real-time traffic alerts, the following apps deserve a place in every driver’s smartphone:

Southern Tollways System (Free on iOS and Android)

For updates on traffic situations in Skyway, SLEX, and STAR Tollways, you can try the Southern Tollways Systems app. Similar to the MMDA app, it gives users information on whether the traffic situation is light, moderate, or heavy. App users are also updated with live incident reports.

Auto Sweep RFID (Free on Android)

With the introduction of the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system along the Skyway, drivers no longer have to stop by tollbooths in order to pay. For drivers who frequently take this route, having the Auto Sweep RFID app on your phone lets you monitor the balance of your Sweep Card, which allows cashless payments. The .apk file can be downloaded for free and used on your Android device.

Waze (Free on iOS and Android)

Waze is a GPS-based navigation app that provides traffic information collected from its users. In 2013, it was acquired by Google for over $1 billion. Simply input your destination before you begin driving to make use of the turn-by-turn voice-guided navigation.

Receive road updates in real time; get alerts about traffic hazards, accidents, and police traps; and discover light-traffic routes and the cheapest fuel prices. The app even lets you add friends to inform them about your location and estimated arrival time.

MMDA Traffic Navigator (Free on iOS and Android)

Launched in 2011, the MMDA app provides real-time traffic information within Metro Manila. Alex Sibug, an app user, posted a review on Playstore and described it as “the best thing the MMDA ever did.” The app lets users view the traffic situation in major roads, namely EDSA, C5, SLEX, Commonwealth, Ortigas, Roxas Blvd., Marcos Highway, España, Katipunan, and Quezon Avenue.

The app also indicates whether the traffic situation is light, moderate, or heavy, and this can be viewed in System, Line, or Map view. It allows users to post traffic reports on Twitter, and access the MMDA directory in the app.

iOnTheRoad, iOS and Android

For $0.99 (about Php45), download iOnTheRoad, an award-winning app perfect for navigating congested roads like EDSA. The app uses your smartphone’s camera and sensors to detect if you’re moving too close to surrounding vehicles, alerting you of potential collisions.

The “blackbox” feature records videos of your drives—handy in case you get into an accident. Aside from giving off-road warnings and detecting speed signs, to make sure that you’re constantly obeying traffic rules, iOnTheRoad also keeps track of your eco-friendliness. Not only that, the app can run in the background while you use navigation apps like Waze.


If you know who to follow, the popular social network can provide you with real-time traffic updates. It’s also handy when reporting a road mishap or accident. Some accounts you should have on your feed: MMDA, SkyWay SOMCO, TrafficPH, MakatiTraffic, NLEX Traffic, Cavitex, and the public information offices of cities in Metro Manila.