Why Haven’t You Installed That Yet?! #2: The best transportation apps
Indios like this writer have been hardened by the hell-like traffic conditions Metro Manila is notoriously known for. And because traffic is only getting worse by the minute and commuters like us are getting by right by the skin of our teeth, there’s really no shame in looking to our A.I. Overlords for some aid.
On this post, we’re rounding up some of the best transportation apps in the Philippines, from navigation, commuting, to parking spaces.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering: we deliberately skipped Grab on this list, because its current form doesn’t feel deserving to be put on any “best of” lists—which is to say, Grab sucks. And they’re only technically the best TVN because they’ve monopolized the space, and royally screwed it up. You can’t be the best in class if it’s just you in the classroom. #Shade. #Kbye.
With that out of the way, let’s list some actually good apps, shall we?
Sakay.ph: The Filipino commuter’s best friend
Sakay.ph saves commuters the hassle of finding the best, cheapest route to go around. The straightforward interface makes it easy to key your destination in and yield the most ideal public transit option. We’re using the word “ideal” very lightly here, of course.
The app takes offers crowd-sourced directions mixed in with a bit of artificial intelligence that makes commuting via Jeep, UV, buses (including P2P), all train systems, and even Pasig River ferries. The app offers key commuting information such as fare, departure/arrival time estimates, and more—features that Google Maps isn’t able to do, but packaged here in a beautiful, almost frictionless experience.
Waze: Real-time traffic and navigation tool
Waze is one of the more popular traffic and navigation tools in both the Play Store and the App Store—and for good reason. The app, which collates real-time traffic data from a strong base of users, is the go-to traffic and navigation tools of a lot of drivers in the Philippines. Key traffic info like road constructions, car pile-ups, nearby police officers and more may be manually reported to alert fellow Waze users. I personally find Waze’s ETA than Google Maps, making it a great companion app for when you hit the road.
Google Maps: All-around app for navigation
If you want a turnkey solution for all things transportation and navigation, you can’t go wrong with Google Maps. With deep-level information on location, nearby establishments, and traffic data, GMaps shapes up to be the best navigation app. Yes, even for iPhone users too.
Wunder: The Carpooling platform you thought you didn’t need
A fine alternative to GrabShare, Wunder dramatically changes the carpooling dynamic. Because it is a bona fide carpooling platform—meaning, you’re literally asking for people who are willing to drive you to work or home at a predetermined cost—commuters are nudged to become more social and courteous. That very premise, in fact, is what pushes me to use it more and more.
The UI redesign embraces the popular bold aesthetic adorning many other apps but keeps the simplicity of its previous design iteration. Requesting for a carpool ride, therefore, is very straightforward: you search for a ride based on your location and desired time. Wunder then will “match” you with drivers who can take you to your location at the time you indicated. Drivers will have to “accept” your request as well. Fares are set by drivers themselves; as of press time, it costs three times less than what GrabShare charges during surge periods.
Dibz: Reliable parking space finder
I’ve heard enough agony-filled cries from officemates who have an insufferable time finding parking spaces. Especially in BGC where our office is situated, parking spaces are more elusive than a Ditto in Pokémon GO.
This makes the value prop of Dibz, a new parking space finder app, all the greater. Finding a parking space is quite easy. Users will have to first key in their location. The app will then offer a list of available parking options, from which users can select which ones they want and reserve their parking space. Once the transaction is settled—all done within the app itself—it’s just a matter of driving to the parking complex/building.
Coins.ph: Keeping your Beep Card loaded
If you take the LRT/MRT on the daily, you most likely carry a Beep Card with you all the time. It’s a fast, secure, and convenient way of paying for the train, without having to subject yourself to the train systems’ notoriously long lines.
Coins.ph takes this convenience one step further, by enabling their users to load up their Beep Card with credits directly from within the app. We’ve reported on this story before, and I’ve taken advantage of the future once since. The process is quick, easy, and secure.