Lagos, according to the 2017 study conducted by a UK-based brand, was rated the third most stressed-out city in the world, having closely followed after Baghdad and Kabul — which ranked first and second respectively.
But, with the daily tussles of commuters in the commercial city’s worsening gridlocks, among other obvious factors like cramped up environment, it is no surprise that Lagos ranked lowly 148 on the least stressed-out rung.
The commercial city’s traffic may seem an unavoidably stressful part of the workday. There’s no gainsaying it. But, what if you were told there are tools available to road users to change the narrative and reduce the daily stress or, perhaps, a few techs to help reclaim a few hours every day and make good use of commuting time?
Your guess is as good as mine. Here are five Google Map tools to achieve just that.
Finding out traffic situation
Who says you have to hit the road at 7:30 am or 5:00 pm 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 in the traffic, stick around, head off to the gym, or make a stop to buy the milk you know is needed at home.
Popular Times feature
If the 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
If you’re sitting in traffic on your way to work and your boss keeps asking for updates, then there’s no better tool to use than the Share Trip Progress function in Google Maps to which allows you to share your journey with third parties 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.
Preoccupy kids in traffic
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 while you maneuver your way through the traffic.
The app allows kids to read out loud while “listening” to them and offering feedback to help improve their reading skills. More is that Bolo operates offline so there can be no poor internet coverage excuse.
Shorten commuting time
With Google’s newly announced Mixed Transit feature, people faced with traffic on a daily basis can 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,
Perhaps, you could board a taxi/bus or rideshare from there and then walk the last few metres to work. This feature would be made available to phones soon and promises to help commuters plot their mixed transit options out every day by choosing the fastest commuting options available.