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

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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