The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has begun a statewide agitation against toll booths with traffic on state highways stopped from 9 am.
The result of all this chaos, is of course a very unhappy commuter. Reports of unending traffic jams and blocked roads are coming in from across the state, with capital Mumbai affected in particular. So if you must step out at all, which areas should you avoid?
There are news updates and bulletins of course, but there is a chance that you could miss them. In this day and age of the smartphone and social media however, thankfully we have apps that give you great real time updates on the flow (or not) of traffic.”
Here are some traffic apps that could come in handy, in this regard. Why not try them out?
Traffline offers real time traffic conditions for Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune. It also gives you travel time between any two points in your city. It gives you updates by way of a timeline, and you can also set it to give updates depending on your location.
If maps are more your thing, you can also opt for a map view, which is essentially a Google map with customised graphics, indicating traffic flow and jams. The app also has a free SMS service that sends you text messages when anything noteworthy in the traffic world happens.
Traffline Mumbai has a Twitter handle too. The good thing about following these guys on Twitter is that their information is crowd sourced and often include reasons and pictures of jams and their causes.
There's no other handle that is as prolific as this one but @WeAreMumbai does send out RTs about traffic issues from time to time.
Waze, which was recently bought by Google for $1 billion is also an option, but is really not that helpful. It gives you an isometric map which looks very pretty, but is not that useful. The problem for Waze is that it relies on crowd sourcing to get its data, and in Mumbai as we all know, people are bound to be too busy to do all that. But a thought here folks – while sitting in your car, why don't you send an update to the folks over at Waze indicating how fast or slow your traffic is moving?
Map My India and Google Maps
Both these apps give you general traffic updates depending on location, and if you have Google Now on your Android phone and enter in a location, it will tell you the status of traffic along your route and also give you alternative routes.
While these apps are perfect for navigating your way around the country, when it comes to city driving one drawback here is that unlike Traffline these apps don't give you a text update that spell out the reason for a pile up or jam.
Nokia Drive (for Windows Phone)
Nokia Drive with My Commute learns your driving preferences and uses information about the latest traffic conditions to help you choose between the different routes you usually take to get to the places you travel most. It even remembers when you usually leave, providing traffic updates along your route so you'll know in advance whether there are delays.
The app has got pretty positive reviews across the board.
We'd love to know the apps that you use to commute across your city. Do let us know in the comments below.