Thomas Dy and Philip Cheang, two tech geniuses who first gave us transit application Sakay.ph in 2013, are back with another tool to help the brave commuters of Metro Manila. Traincheck, launched on November 22, is an app that allows train riders to check congestion levels at the MRT and adjust their schedules to avoid long lines. It's like Waze for commuters. Traincheck estimates how many minutes you'll be waiting at the MRT station and the best time to leave if you have to be at your destination at a specific hour.
The goal of Traincheck is "to save daily train riders 10 minutes every day by cutting down time spent lining up at suboptimal times." What exactly can you do in 10 minutes? Well, a lot -- from getting another five minutes of snooze, to getting a quick bite.
Sounds too perfect? We know. But the tech behind it is pretty legit.
Traincheck's creators first looked into the public site of the Department of Transportation where anyone can see real-time camera streams from every station of the MRT-3. Yes, in case you didn't know yet, you can see how long the lines are at the ticketing booth are, as well as at the platforms, via your computer or phone. Trends on the most congested hours were drawn out, historical data was used to derive patterns, and voila! They are able to predict congestion levels.
Using it is simple. For example, if you're coming from North Avenue station and you're willing to wait only for an hour before a train arrives, the app tells you to leave at a later time when there are less people. You can also check out specific hours when the congestion is light, mid-light, medium, mid-heavy, or heavy. This feature is also pushed to the Sakay.ph app to complete the commuter experience.