I.T. COMPETITION FOR INTELLIGENT TRIP-PLANNING BY THE DOTC
Manila, Philippines – The launch of the first national transport application (app) development competition led by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) will be heldt omorrow, 2 July 2013, in partnership with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Cebu City Government.
In a move to maximize the conveniences made possible by modern technology in delivering its services to the people, the transport agency is opening its database on bus, train, and jeepney routes in Metro Manila, called the Philippine Transit Information Service (PTIS), to the public, via the Philippine Transit App Challenge.
The competition will be a three (3)-month long hack-at-home event – a new trend in the IT community which allows software developers to create apps at their own pace and on their own time, using the same datasets provided to them. Based on the international experience, hack-at-home events lead to the development of a broad spectrum of apps, many of which were not previously conceived and which give end-users a wide range of products to utilize and enjoy.
“We are very excited about the Challenge and we expect it to bring out a lot of innovation from software developers. The goal is to create all sorts of apps which will make commuting in Metro Manila much more convenient,” said DOTC spokesperson Migs Sagcal.
The PTIS database contains previously-unavailable data gathered from participating agencies such as the MMDA, the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA), the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3), the Philippine National Railways (PNR), the Land Transportation Franchising & Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (CITOM).
It will contain two (2) kinds of datasets: regularly-updated geographic location and service information on bus, train, and jeepney routes in Metro Manila, as well as live traffic incident data streams in both Metro Manila and Cebu City.
This means that the commuters will now be able to easily check the various routes available to take from one point to another, including how many transfers each route will require, how much fare will be needed, and how much travel time will be involved. This will allow the public to make better-informed decisions when they plan their trips, resulting in more convenience and efficiency, and a better passenger experience overall.
“The point is to empower the public with better decision-making abilities using our data. This project stems from government’s effort to look at public service delivery from the viewpoint of the end-user, and to make commuting better for everyone,” Sagcal remarked.
The Philippine Transit App Challenge, which will be open to all interested app developers, will be launched at the Toyota Auditorium of the University of the Philippines’ Asia Learning Center in Diliman, Quezon City, on 2 July 2013 at 9:30am. More details about the event are available on the competition’s official website, http://philippine-transit.hackathome.com/.