The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

City Life

Cairo Traffic: Bey2ollak and Wasalny Can Save Your Day

Cairo Traffic: Bey2ollak and Wasalny Can Save Your Day
    written by
    Salma Tantawi

    As one of the most
    overpopulated cities in the world, it’s not a secret that driving in Cairo can
    often be overwhelming. Unfortunately, the chance of getting stuck in traffic at
    any time of day has become so inevitable that we have to calculate hours of
    delay due to traffic congestion into our daily schedules. 

    We could try to figure out the reasons behind the inexplicable congestion on
    the streets, but let’s face it; what we really want is to avoid traffic
    altogether by knowing which roads to avoid and which is the quickest route to our
    destination. 

    Thankfully, a group of creative young Egyptians have developed convenient
    methods for that exact purpose! Instead of the daily reports that we may get
    every morning on TV or radio, we now can find out the status of traffic everywhere
    in Cairo through real-time updates; all you need is an internet connection.

    One of the first and most popular traffic updates website is Bey2ollak,
    which is powered by Vodafone. Bey2ollak is available in web version and as an
    application for Blackberry and iPhones, and it can be viewed in a
    mobile-friendly mode from any other mobile brand. You can also follow Bey2ollak
    on Twitter for instant
    updates.

    Wherever you are in
    the city, you can check and update the street’s traffic status. The website works
    for both Cairo and Alexandria. The traffic status is rated in an amusing way;
    varying from ‘7alawa’ with a green symbol, meaning perfectly flowing traffic
    and zero congestion, to ‘mafeesh amal’ in an alarming red circle, meaning you
    should avoid that route if possible. 

    Due to the events that unfolded in Egypt during and after the revolution, the
    site has added two new options: ‘el7a2ny,’ which leads you to a list of emergency numbers such
    as the military police, the fire department or road emergency services that you
    can directly dial from bey2ollak’s application on your mobile phone. ‘5atar’ is
    the second option, which marks a certain area as dangerous due to riots
    or acts of vandalism, etc. 

    The website is always
    updated, and you can include a comment into the rating to give more details about
    the route and the cause of the traffic jam.

    Another website worth
    checking for traffic updates is Wasalny. The site is also available
    on twitter in addition to an
    application for Blackberry, Nokia and Android phones, along with a
    mobile-friendly website for iPhone and other mobile phone brands. Apart from updates on
    major roads with specific directions, you can view the blocked areas on a real
    map, and you can drag a car icon across the map to determine which route is ok to drive
    through and which should be avoided.

    For every main road, the
    website gives you an estimated time that it will take you based on the speed of your car and the
    degree of congestion. Users can upload photos of the congested
    streets via their mobile phone cameras and add their own rating for the
    congestion.

    What makes these two websites
    convenient is their simple designs, easy navigation and regular updates, making
    them essential parts of your daily commute across
    Cairo. Updating traffic status is a win-win situation; when you warn
    other drivers about an already crowded route, you’re actually helping the
    routes from becoming even more congested, and you’re saving someone else from being
    stuck in traffic.

    Until we find a magical
    solution to Cairo’s traffic, all we can count on is honest advice from fellow
    drivers on the best way to reach our destinations.    

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