Google Maps opens lanes for Lagos road users
A 2017 study listed the 150 least to most stressed out cities in the world. With Stuttgart in Germany nabbing first spot as the least stressed city to live and work in, Lagos came in at 148 (just two spots ahead of the most stressed city – Iraq) which will be no surprise to daily commuters on Lagos streets.
There were obviously factors other than traffic playing a role in defining this list but lack of space and cramped environments, including high traffic areas, featured high on the list of reasons people are stressed out in cities like Lagos.
Traffic is a challenge, no doubt about it, but there are tools available for Lagos road users to use to help smooth their journeys and make life a little easier.
Do the most with your travel time using Google Maps:
Lagos traffic may seem like an insurmountable, unavoidable, stressful part of the workday, over which it may seem you have no control. The truth is, there are several ways you can use technology to reclaim a few hours every day or make good use of your time on the road.
First and foremost, how real is the traffic situation?: Who says you have to hit the road at 07h30 or 17h00 sharp? With just one tap, you have access to information like ETAs, live traffic updates and quickest routes to familiar places – like home, work and the gym. This will help you decide whether you should join the fray or stick around, head off to the gym or make a stop to buy the milk you know is needed at home.
Know before you go: If gym is an alternative to traffic for you but queues aren’t, try using Google’s “Popular Times” feature. This is accessible through Search and Maps and will help you decide how to better use your time. If the gym’s too busy and filled with other traffic dodgers, for example, you can choose to see how busy things look at your local mall or the library or the supermarket.
Share your ETA and location: Sitting in traffic on your way to work and your boss keeps asking for updates? Use the Share Trip Progress functionality in Google Maps to share your journey with them, via Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger or even email. Once they open your shared link in Maps, they’ll be able to track your progress with ease. In much the same way, you can share an actual estimated time of arrival at home with your family, keeping their minds at ease on those “extra trafficky” days.
Driving in cars with kids: If it’s your turn to drop the kids off at school, and you have an Android device, why not use Google’s Bolo app to use their time in traffic wisely? Bolo is a speech-based reading app that helps kids learn how to read in English – your kids can read out loud with the app, which “listens” to them while offering encouragement and feedback to help improve their reading skills. Bolo operates offline so there can be no “poor coverage” excuses!
Mixed Transit options coming soon: People, in general, are quick learners and those faced with traffic on a daily basis will often find ways to shorten or ease this process. For some, this means mixed options when it comes to transport. You could drive or cycle to a taxi/bus station, taxi/bus or rideshare from there and then walk the last few metres to work. Google has announced its Mixed Transit feature, which will be coming to your phone soon and promises to help commuters plot their mixed transit options out every day – choosing the fastest option available.