On Facebook? Try MMDA’s new carpooling app

Reynaldo Santos Jr
On Facebook? Try MMDA’s new carpooling app
Friend Trip, MMDA's new carpooling app, aims to ease road congestion and reduce air pollution by getting Facebook friends to share rides together

MANILA, Philippines – Want to give your friends a lift, or check out who’s willing to give a free ride? There’s an app for that.

After launching its traffic navigation app in 2011, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is now tapping social media in another bid to ease traffic congestion and pollution in the city.

On Monday, May 18, the MMDA launched “Friend Trip,” a free mobile app that allows carpooling among Facebook friends.

MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino said the new app aims to help ease traffic congestion by encouraging friends heading to the same area to share a car and reduce the number of private vehicles on the road. 

This would also help reduce pollution in the city, Tolentino added.

“Some cars only have one or two occupants. These vehicles eat up a lot of space on the road. They contribute to a high level of pollution and increase road traffic,” he added.

Drivers offering rides post their route, time of trip, number of seats available, car type, and plate number of the vehicle.To use the app, riders and drivers must both be Facebook users and friends with each other. Upon launch, users need to key in their phone numbers and log in to Facebook.

Passengers looking for rides will need to search for trips heading toward their destination, send a “join” request, and wait for approval.

A red indicator means the car is already full. A yellow indicator means the request is pending, while a green indicator means there’s an available seat in the car.

Because the app works among users who are already Facebook friends, Tolentino said both passengers and drivers are assured of safety.

“You won’t take someone on as a passenger if he’s not a friend. Likewise, you won’t ride along if you’re not friends with the driver,” Tolentino said.

The MMDA chairman also said the agency is mulling incentives for frequent users of the app, such as exempting their vehicles from the number coding scheme or extending window hours.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) expressed support for the newly launched app, but reminded motorists to exercise vigilance in broadcasting their activities on social media.

In a statement on Tuesday, May 19, PNP spokesperson Senior Superintendent Bartolome Tobias advised motorists to verify the social media accounts of their friends and family to avoid being duped by fake accounts.

“Criminal elements may pose as your friend and know the exact details of your travel activities,” Tobias said.

MMDA’s Friend Trip app is currently available on Google Play for Android devices. It will soon be available on the Apple Store for iOS devices. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.