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07 July 2011

MMDA's real-time Traffic Navigator goes online

Words by Leslie Sy
 
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Plying through Metro Manila's busy roads, there'd be times when we'd get stuck in the worst traffic jams that we all wished we never left the comforts of the office or the house. And for the longest time, we relied on making weird faces, giving the “bird sign” at hapless traffic enforcers, or screaming like a deranged lunatic at the car next to ours as a way of coping with stress. Thankfully, the MMDA and TV5 finally joined forces to come up with the first online traffic monitoring system; saving us all from the trouble of traffic jams, and thus slowing down my receding hairline. 
 
MMDA's new “Traffic Navigator” is a live traffic condition monitor for six of Metro Manila's major roads, available for free to anyone connected to the web. Updated every few minutes, it currently covers EDSA, Quezon Ave., España, C5, Roxas Boulevard, and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). Although the graphics suspiciously look like a rip-off of Hong Kong and Singapore's subway maps, the site's interface is simple, quick to understand, and (most importantly) idiot-proof. 
 
There are three general options on how to view the information: a system view, line view, and one that superimposes the info on Google Maps. Current traffic conditions are then divided into heavy, moderate, and light - displayed in red, yellow and green, respectively. In that case, you might want to consider changing routes when you see red. 
 
Although the Traffic Navigator only covers six major roads in Metro Manila, you have to consider that it is still in beta test phase. Maybe only when the system is fully tested will the coverage be expanded to the other major roads in the Metro. For now, even with its limited scope, it gets two thumbs up from this particular motorist.
 
Plan your trips ahead by logging on to MMDA's Traffic Navigator.