To address the ever-growing number of vehicles on the road as motor vehicles sales continue to rise, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has launched a new app for mobile devices that will promote carpooling amongst friends using the popular social media platform Facebook.

Called ‘Friend Trip,’ the app is now available for download by Android devices from the Google Marketplace with an iOS version not far behind.

To access, users can sign-in by simply logging on to their Facebook account and entering their mobile phone number.

The app will then connect only to the people in the user’s friend’s list and provide the choice between being a Driver or a Rider.  As a Rider, the user will be given color-coded information regarding ride availability, Red means there are no more available seats, Yellow means the ride status is pending while Green means there are vacant seats available.

Since it is based on the idea of carpooling, no financial transactions will be facilitated by the app.

Incentives to join are being considered by the agency including exemption from the number-coding scheme or extended window hours for regular users of the app.

The decision to partner with Facebook was due mainly to the popularity of the social media site with commuters and motorists in Metro Manila and also to address the safety issue by ensuring that you only offer rides and accept rides from people you know.

"Hindi mo naman isasakay pag hindi mo friend. Hindi ka rin sasakay pag hindi mo friend." said MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino.

‘Friend Trip’ will also give the user the option to allow the MMDA to track and record all their trips.