Believe It or Not: The Philippines isn’t the Top Asian Country That Wastes the Most Time in Traffic

Cherryl Anne Cruz
Bumper-to-bumper traffic on the road

We actually come in third compared to our other Southeast Asian neighbors.

According to a commissioned survey* made by Uber, Metro Manila drivers spend an average time of 66 minutes getting stuck in traffic, while Bangkok (Thailand) leads the survey, with 72 minutes on the road. Meanwhile, Jakarta (Indonesia) comes in at second place, with 68 minutes waiting time.

Trailing behind the top three are Hanoi (Vietnam) at 58 minutes, and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) at 53 minutes.

Uber’s study also revealed that people across Asia are stuck in traffic jams for an average of 52 minutes daily.

Road Congestion in Southeast Asia

Hanoi, Vietnam roads

The report also revealed that road congestion in peak hours is at its highest in Hanoi, averaging at around 134%. Second is Manila at 132%, and third place goes to Ho Chi Minh at 112%.

There is also a direct relation between excess vehicle increase during peak hours, with Hanoi leading at around 73% in vehicle excess. Manila comes in at second (72%), while Ho Chi Minh City comes in at third (65%). Jakarta (51%), Surabaya (44%), and Bangkok (62%) tail in at 4th, 5th and 6th places.

Singapore, Taipei, and Hongkong, where public transport is the predominant mode of transport for city residents, also experience road congestion during peak hours.** However, their difference with other countries is that they experience low levels of congestion during non-peak hours.

Meanwhile, Manila, together with Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, and Surabaya, all have the risk of “reaching standstill levels of congestion (>10 KM/hour) during peak hours by 2022.”***

Wasted time and space in Metro Manila’s congested roads

Metro Manila drivers waste around 402 hours stuck in traffic, wasting 25 days of unproductive time on the road annually. Drivers also spend around P100,000 every year just looking for parking spaces and sitting in traffic.

Currently, Metro Manila alone has more than 2.3 million vehicles that get by every working day. This volume needs roughly a parking space that’s twice the size of Makati City alone. The study revealed that reducing the number of private cars on the road can add significant parking space to accommodate many of these cars.

Added solution to the Philippines’ traffic congestion problem

Taxi in the road

According to the report, utilizing more public transportation (particularly rail) among commuters is the key component in helping road congestion.

Adopting rideshare services during peak hours can also lessen traffic congestion by up to 88 percent. This can save road space by up to 3,363 hectares, roughly the size of 8,000 football fields. The added spaces can be used to provide more parking spaces**** in Metro Manila.

Uber also added that ridesharing (pooling) services, can complement with public transportation in helping alleviate traffic congestion, and they forecast that using this option alone will reduce congestion in 2022 from 333% (without rideshare) to 132% (with rideshare).

 

*The study, which is a collaboration between Uber and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), was conducted between July and August 2017. It was released in November 2017, and involved 7,000 respondents, with ages between 18 to 65 living in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Manila, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh and Bangkok.

**This is based on a study of 140 cities and countries made by the World Economic Forum.

***Peak hours are defined here as 7-9 am and 6-8 pm.

****Assume that the standard parking lot measures at 19m2.

 

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