Worst city traffic in Asia: Metro Manila ranks 3rd

MANILA— Manila ranks among the worst cities in Asia when it comes to the time people spend daily on traffic gridlock, a study commissioned by ride-sharing company Uber showed yesterday.

Uber Philippines general manager Laurence Cua led a presentation revealing the results of a new Uber-commissioned survey, which showed that people in Manila spend the third longest average time being stuck in traffic every day at 66 minutes.

This puts Manila at third worst in Asia, next to Bangkok with 72 minutes and Jakarta with 68 minutes.

Following Manila are Hanoi and Kuala Lumpur, where people spend an average of 58 minutes and 53 minutes, respectively, on traffic congestion daily.

The study also measured the average time spent every day looking for parking across major Asian cities.

Manila ranked fourth worst in this category, tied with Bangkok with an average time of 24 minutes.

Hanoi had the longest time at 45 minutes, followed by Ho Chi Minh (31 minutes), and Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur at 25 minutes each.

“Traffic jams in Manila are getting worse every year. On average, car owners spend 66 minutes stuck in gridlock and another 24 minutes looking for a parking slot. Across Asia, people are stuck in traffic jams for an average of 52 minutes every day,” Uber said.

In a year, Uber said Metro Manila residents spent 402 hours stuck in traffic.

“That’s about 25 days. A tremendous loss for us,” Cua said.

The Uber study also noted the cost of traffic in Manila, indicating that drivers spend almost P100,000 looking for parking and sitting in traffic every year.

“As a driver, you are losing P100,000 a year because you are there doing nothing, simply looking at the red light,” Cua said.

In Manila, the survey found that four out of five car owners have missed or have been very late to important events, with doctor’s appointments topping the list of most commonly missed events, followed by job interviews and weddings.

In addition, it indicated that only 65 percent of cars on the road are actually needed, which is almost one million less than the over 2.3 million vehicles in Manila.

“It’s not about the cars but how we use the cars. People want to buy cars and drive their own cars individually. However, these cars are occupied only by one person. So we need to make sure ride sharing is more reliable and more affordable,” Cua said.

“If the situation in Asia’s cities continues like this, they risk coming to a complete standstill in only a few years. Ridesharing can be an important complement to public transport and private cars when reducing congestions as well as freeing up city space today used for parking spots. By putting more people into fewer cars, we can unlock our cities and their full potential. But it requires that we all work together,” Uber chief business officer for Asia Pacific Brooks Entwistle added.