There are very few things quite as iconic as the Philippine jeepney, with its colorful designs and blaring music, and routes that seem to snake in and out of the country’s tight streets. To the experienced commuter, the jeepney can be an invaluable ally, allowing them to get where they need to go without spending a fortune, but for the new man in Manila, a jeepney can be a terrifying thing, the signs on its placards meaning little to those who don’t know the landmarks or destinations they pertain to.

With gas prices and road congestion the way they are, we all know that the responsible thing to do is to rely on public transportation to get where we need to go. But public transportation isn’t always straightforward, and learning to take public transportation (or “commute”) can be a matter of trial and error. It’s why most people avoid taking unfamiliar routes if they can, choosing instead to take cabs or ride with friends. The growing popularity of services like Uber mean that many can now get around the country without so much as hailing a jeep. But for those who can’t afford to car-share or don’t trust these services, public transportation is still very much a part of their lives, and commuting instructions are crucial.

This reliance on public transportation is the reason why was created. A platform for sharing accurate, up-to-date instructions on taking public transportation – very much an upgraded version of Google Maps’ similar feature – began as a browser-based tool where you could look up any destination from your home location, and get instructions on which PUJs and PUVs and trains to take. However, as the country grew more reliant on mobile tech, the service shifted as well. The growth in mobile internet is among the strongest trends on the internet landscape to date, and this trend is more evident in the Philippines than anywhere else, as some even reported that 10% of all global SMS communication was generated in the country.

Taking these things into account, has been hard at work developing a service that allows users to text a number to ask for commuting directions, so they can have access to accurate instructions even if they don’t have a smartphone or a data plan. This feature is still being developed, but those on a smartphone can rest assured that they can have access to’s services for free if they’re running on a Smart, Talk n’ Text or Sun network. As explained by a recent Facebook post, they’ve teamed up with Facebook’s, pledging to bring basic information to everyone for free:
No data plan? No problem! Starting today, you can now access for FREE through!SMART, Sun, and...
Of course, those already on a data plan can enjoy the services without hassle, as is available on both iTunes App Store and Google Play. In a country where data plans are still far from being the norm, however, this new move to bring’s services to Filipinos for free shows great foresight on their part.

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