It was a booming success. This was how some observers noted the concluding event of the Department of Transportation and Communications [DOTC] Philippine Transit App Challenge held in UP Diliman last 14TH of October 2013. The event, the first ever in Southeast Asia and attracting contestants even from Cebu, was about developing an app to help ease commuting in the big cities of Metro Manila and Cebu.

DOTC Transit App Challenge

It was a three-month long hack-at-home activity culminating with demonstrations of the finalist apps at the GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center Auditorium located in the said UP premise. The winning app should allow commuters to share traffic info, weather updates, events, and other relevant details in the best way possible. With such an app, the commuting public will be better aided when traveling the two giant cities, especially when preparing or planning their trips a bit in advance.

App to Aid Commuters and Ease Road Travel

In fact, no less than Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya himself, current Transport secretary, appreciated the efforts of the participants and developers in the event. He commended the three-month dedicated labors of the finalists who never tire of coming up with the best app solution to the country’s ubiquitous problem.

Trip Barker, a trip planner for community-based mass transit systems and the one responsible for the award winning app that aids users share weather, traffic, and other pertinent road events with their community, bagged the Best App Award, the P100K at stake, plus a nomination to the Mobile Premier Awards in 2014. This will happen at the Mobile World Congress to be held in Barcelona, Spain in February. Three special awards were given a P50-K prize each in the event where Barker got the Best App Award.

Other Awards Highlights

Sakay.ph, which is a web and an SMS based app, makes available a printed transit direction usable for buses, jeepneys, and trains plying Metro Manila. It bagged the Open Community Award. The transit.com.ph, on the other hand, got the Transport Award for an app that aids Cebu City commuters with tools for easier route planning and which also functions as a route editor for city contributors and planners.

The Inclusive Technology Award was given to the Manila Train Guide, an app specializing in planning trips aiding Metro Manila’s railways. The app highlights places of interest nearby. The Voter’s Choice, an award with P30K at stake, was given to Rklamo, which is an app that allows a tripping mechanism through SMS usable for worthy PUV drivers who behave well on the road.

A total of 17 entries were submitted to the Philippine Transit App Challenge which started in July, 10 of which made it as finalists. The Challenge was launched together by the DOTC, the Metro Manila Development Authority or MMDA, and the government of Cebu City.