Filipinos spend 16 days of lost income opportunities to traffic every year, study says.
A study commissioned by the ride-sharing platform, Uber, and subsequently conducted by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) shows that Metro Manila commuters and motorists spend 66 minutes every day stuck in traffic, not including the daily 24-minute time lost due to parking space search. The study was conducted from September to October this year involving 300 respondents coming from Southeast Asian cities.
The study also shows that Metro Manila has the third longest traffic wait time in Asia, a notch behind Bangkok and Jakarta respectively.
“Road congestion costs Asian economies an estimated 2%-5% of gross domestic product each year due to lost time and higher transport costs,” Uber Philippines’ General Manager Laurence Cua said in a statement based on the report of Asian Development Bank.
Because of this, three out of four Filipinos have experienced being late to an important event, such as doctor’s appointments, weddings, and job interviews, the study revealed.
The streets have more cars on them than they can handle, especially during the morning and afternoon rush hours, which significantly increases travel time. This is on top of the fact that the Philippine public transport infrastructure development is creaking.
Moreover, Metro Manila will brace for a worsened traffic condition due to low down payment promotions given by financing companies and car makers for easy car ownership, and the fact that more than 80% of Metro Manila’s respondents showed intention of purchasing a car five years from now.
Meanwhile, Manila has six railway lines with a combined length of 246 kilometres. Due to the increasing number of the riding public, peak hour congestion has already reached 132%. This means that the Philippines has to cough up US$51 billion for roads, railways, tollways, and subways in order to bridge the demand gap, the study says.
According to Mr. Cua, effective alternative solutions to this worsening traffic congestion problem are ride-sharing and car-pooling services. He said that ride-sharing alone can take out as many as 1 million privately owned cars from the road. This translates to 50%-90% traffic congestion reduction.
“The more people use shared modes, the more likely they are to use public transit, own fewer cars and spend less on transportation overall,” Mr. Cua said.