Is Metro Manila’s traffic truly unbeatable? SWAT Mobility shows it doesn’t have to be

Published on:
August 19, 2020

Manila, August 19, 2020- Though the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuring lockdowns have forced many of Metro Manila’s workers to work from home, there are still plenty of exemptions to this rule: aside from essential health workers, those working in essential industries such as manufacturing, agriculture, logistics, and more are allowed to work on-site. 

With public transport operating at significantly reduced capacity (or even outright inaccessible at times) during the pandemic, many companies in the mentioned sectors have opted to provide company shuttles to get these essential employees to work. After all, the fact that there are fewer vehicles on the streets doesn’t mean city traffic has completely gone away - even when tighter lockdown measures were enacted by the government, EDSA traffic still remained

Thus, although company shuttles are a convenient perk there’s still room for improvement. For example, how will shuttles know which routes are best for avoiding traffic?

Singapore-based transport solutions firm SWAT Mobility aims to help companies solve this exact problem by providing demand-responsive smart mobility technology in high capacity vehicles. SWAT Mobility’s technology enables companies to digitize their employee transportation processes, enabling them to save time, manpower, and money. 

There’s an app for that

Through the SWAT Mobility app, authorized employees can book rides either on-demand or even at the same time each day for up to a month. Not only that, but the app will also decide how to group passengers who are along the same route, calculate the most efficient route to take, assign vehicles, and send the routes to drivers in seconds. This then eliminates the need to plan routes manually and ensures traffic is avoided as much as possible. 

Additionally, the solution also: 

  • automatically collates requests through a smart-phone based app or employer bulk upload, eliminating the work of taking request through phone, email, Viber or WhatsApp;
  • automatically generates full passenger manifests, including boarding and alighting time stamps, to satisfy Department of Transportation (DOTr) requirements on record-keeping and enabling instant contact tracing without any input from drivers;
  • allows passengers to track vehicles in real-time, eliminating the need for transportation coordinators to chase down drivers.
“COVID-19 has accelerated the need to provide safe and efficient transport for essential on-site employees. With the current economic challenges, companies need to provide this transport as efficiently as possible,”

said Nicholas Stipp, Chief Revenue Officer at SWAT. “SWAT Mobility is happy to help organizations in the Philippines digitize their employee transportation processes while simultaneously contributing to the alleviation of traffic in Metro Manila.”

A proven track record

While SWAT Mobility’s solution is especially relevant in light of the ongoing pandemic, it can certainly be useful even under normal circumstances as well. According to research published by location technology specialist TomTom just a month and a half before Metro Manila went into lockdown, the nation’s capital had the world’s 2nd worst traffic. It was second only to Bangalore, India. 

It’s worth noting that SWAT Mobility has already helped essential workers avoid the worst of traffic in the past. SWAT’s first project in the Philippines, in cooperation with the Toyota Mobility Foundation, was launched in May.  SWAT enabled critical medical workers from Philippine General Hospital (PGH) to safely travel to and from their homes on door-to-door services as part of the DOTr’s Free Ride for Health Workers Program.  Workers used the SWATBiz app to book rides daily according to their shift schedule, were assigned to one of ten vans, and were routed efficiently to their homes.

In July, SWAT provided its SWATBiz app to coworking and staff leasing service provider KMC Solutions to help their employees and clients to book rides, plan routes in minutes, navigate drivers to close-to-home pick-up points, and track vehicles in real-time. Like the PGH project, this solution was delivered locally by SWAT’s partner Toyota Motor Philippines.

SWAT Mobility has also partnered with coworking space provider KMC Solutions to help move people to and from their offices. 

“We partnered with SWAT Mobility because they presented an efficient way to manage our shuttle services. We’re not only servicing our own employees—we are also servicing our Clients and Members, having taken their feedback seriously over the past months,” said Thomas Cragg, Vice President for Sales at KMC.

“SWAT presented a simple and automated solution that took care of most of the administrative aspects of shuttle booking for KMC. We are the thought-leader in our space here in the Philippines and a Company that gravitates toward innovation, and that is what SWAT offered.”

With Metro Manila being known to have one of the worst traffic congestions in the entire world, it’s now more important than ever to enable smart mobility solutions for all, saving organizations time through the automation of dispatching and route calculation. SWAT Mobility is ready to help provide an answer to traffic -  it’s now up to companies to decide whether it’s something they’re ready to embrace.

About SWAT Mobility

SWAT Mobility (SWAT) is a Singapore-based smart mobility solution firm that provides demand-responsive and ride-sharing technology in high capacity vehicles. With the belief that efficient transport is a fundamental right, SWAT endeavours to use its core mobility engine to improve the way people commute, ease congestion and improve their quality of life. 

Founded in 2016, SWAT has completed over a million dynamically-routed rides worldwide for commuters. The firm’s solutions are used by clients across Asia Pacific, including Sumitomo Corporation, Toyota Corporation, Transportation for New South Wales and Sembcorp Marine. Since its inception, the firm has garnered more than US$12 million in funding from investors such as the ComfortDelGro Ventures, Goldbell Group, iGlobe Partners, Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) Investments, EDB New Ventures, SMRT Momentum Ventures and the University of Tokyo Edge Capital (UTEC).

The company is headquartered in Singapore, with operations across seven markets including Australia, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.