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Traffic apps win transit challenge awards

Veronica C. Silva | Oct. 28, 2013
Philippine government-led contest brings out creativity among developers to help solve city problem.

Faced with traffic congestion in megacities in the Philippines, the government has challenged some of the top IT minds in the country to develop an app that can help ease commuting. 

The Philippine Department of Transportation and Communication recently launched a contest to develop an app to help commuters navigate through the traffic in Manila and Cebu, two of the top megacities in the country. 

Speaking at the awards event recently, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya thanked the developers for getting involved to help the transport agency solve “one of our country’s toughest problems.”

The developers participated in a three-month hack-at-home competition dubbed the Philippine Transit App Challenge (PTAC), which the department said is the first in Southeast Asia. At the awards, 10 finalists out of 17 entries demonstrated the apps they have developed and their benefits. 

Trip Barker, a community-based app, won the Best App Award with a prize of PHP100,000 (US$2,300) and a nomination to the 2014 Mobile Premier Awards at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain next February. The trip planner app allows users to share real-time information on weather, traffic and events to help members of the community to get tips to plan their trip. 

Special awards 

Three special awards worth PHP50,000 (US$1,100) were also chosen, namely: 

For the Open Community Award, winner was Sakay.ph, a web- and SMS-based app that gives commuters printable directions for mass transit such as jeepneys, buses, and trains in Metro Manila; 

For the Transport Award, winner was Transit.com.ph, a route-planning tool for commuters in Cebu City. It also offers a route editor for city planners and contributors. 

For the Inclusive Technology Award, winner was Manila Train Guide, a trip-planning app for users of Manila’s railways and features nearby places of interests. 

Finally, a Voter’s Choice award worth PHP30,000 (US$697) was presented to Rklamo, an app which allows users to share tips about public utility vehicle drivers with good behaviour. 

 

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