Worst to drive in: MMDA says Waze's Metro Manila report 'accurate, correct'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 30 2019 03:21 PM

Commuters queue on the road as they try to avail of a free bus ride from Cubao in Quezon City to Masinag in Rizal, the eastern side of Metro Manila on Oct. 10, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said Tuesday it agreed with a report by traffic navigation app Waze that the National Capital Region may be the world's worst area to drive in. 

It takes around 4.9 minutes for a motorist to cover just 1 kilometer in the Philippine capital, Waze country head Sarah Rodriguez was quoted in a Bloomberg report. 

"Iyon po talaga ang travel time at travel speed na naitatala nitong mga nagdaan," said MMDA Spokesperson Celine Pialago. 

"Pero kakilangan lang po nating ipaliwanag sa publiko, ano nga po ba talaga ang tunay na problema? Volume. Paulit-ulit po naming sinasabi na congested na po tayo," she added. 

(That's really the travel time and speed recorded recently. But we need to explain to the public what the real problem is: volume. We have repeatedly said that we are already congested.) 

For instance, EDSA, Metro Manila's main thoroughfare which passes through 6 of its cities, is used by some 410,000 vehicles per day despite its daily capacity of only 245,000 vehicles, Pialago noted. 

"Kaya naman po talagang magtutugma at tatama ang pag-aaral po ng Waze," she told radio DZMM. 

(This is why the Waze study would be accurate and correct.) 

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) recently ranked Metro Manila as the most congested city in developing Asia in a report released last month. 

ADB cited the lack of efficient public transport as one of the reasons for the congestion.

The Philippine capital’s traffic congestion costs the country P3.5 billion daily, a 2017 data from the Japan International Cooperation Agency showed. This could rise to P5.4 billion by 2035 if no interventions are made.

Traffic congestion is also costing lives as ambulances face severe delays to reach hospitals. 

Earlier this month, the capital's 3 main mass transit systems suffered breakdowns all on the same week, prompting an administration critic to say that Metro Manila was already experiencing a "transport crisis."