'Shifting metrics': People mobility key to solving traffic woes


Posted at Nov 26 2020 02:04 PM

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MANILA - A transport economist on Thursday underscored the need to shift the metrics from finding solutions to vehicular traffic to people mobility as Metro Manila continues to grapple with worsening traffic conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think nafi-fixate tayo sa problema ng traffic. Yung traffic kasi is just pertaining to the vehicles. I think its time that we shift our metrics from just thinking about traffic kasi pag traffic, iba po yung sa vehicular traffic sa people mobility,” said Transport Economist Jedd Carlo Ugay of Alt Mobility PH.

(I think were fixated with the traffic problem. Traffic pertains to vehicles. I think its time that we shift our metrics from just thinking about traffic because vehicular traffic is different from people mobility.)

Ugay, in an interview with TeleRadyo on Thursday said vehicle travel time has always been considered instead of the total travel time, say for commuting.

He added that people mobility is made difficult when there is a lack of transportation or other mobility options.

“Hopefully ma-consider natin na hindi lang po laging traffic ang dapat solusyunan. Ang dapat nating solusyunan ay yung mobilidad ng lahat ng tao para magawa yung kanilang kailangang trips,” he said.

(Hopefully we can consider that we need to find solutions not only to traffic, but for people mobility as well so that people can also do their necessary trips.)

Public transportation was affected by the lockdown measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the ease in quarantine classification, the government has allowed the gradual resumption of public transport.

But Metro Manila continues to experience traffic jams as the number coding is still suspended. Traffic jams may also be due to road infrastructure projects and even the closure of U-turn slots to give way to the EDSA Busway project.

“If we can move people, let’s say doon sa EDSA Carousel nakakapag-move siya ng maraming tao compared doon sa traffic ng cars, makikita natin ilan po ang mas nakaka-benefit na tao,” he said.

(If we can move people, let’s say in the EDSA Carousel where we it moves many people compared to car traffic, we can see that it benefits more people.)

Meanwhile, Ugay agrees with urban planning expert Architect Felino “Jun” Palafox Jr.’s proposal to make more walkable and bikeable cities.

“We do agree that we should be able to make our communities more bikeable and walkable and it is doable,” said Ugay.

He added that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important walking and even cycling is as a more resilient way to move around, compared to public transportation or car where one is confined in an enclosed space making the person more prone to virus exposure.

- TeleRadyo 26 November 2020