‘Metro Manila traffic at standstill in 5 years’

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METRO Manila is known for its horrendous traffic jams but motorists may soon have to endure standstill traffic as more Filipinos see the need to buy a car in the next five years, a study commissioned by a ride-sharing platform said.

The study entitled “Unlocking Cities” by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), found that Manila has congestion levels that are “high both in peak and non-peak hours of travel.”

Statistics of the Metro Manila Development Authority show that around 7,500 vehicles use EDSA every hour.
Out of the study’s 300 respondents, 252 or 84 percent of commuters indicated plans to purchase a car in the next five years. Considering Manila’s current vehicle growth levels, cars would be traveling at 10 kph, the study implied.

“These same respondents said there is the highest likelihood, among all cities studied, to forgo purchasing a vehicle if ride-sharing can meet their transport requirements on price, timeliness and availability,” the BCG added.


The study categorized Metro Manila under Tier 3 cities along with Jakarta in Indonesia, Surabaya in Jawa Timur, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. These cities are said to have “relatively undeveloped public transport networks, or rely heavily on informal road-based transport networks.”

Meanwhile, Tier 1 cities, which include Taipei, Singapore and Hong Kong, have low levels of congestion outside of peak hours even if they heavily rely on public transport.


Tier 2 cities, which include Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, are more likely to face road congestion for lack of public transport.

The study added that a combination of a significant uptake in public transport as well as efficient alternatives to vehicle ownership are likely to be needed to curb congestion.

Asked to comment on the study, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) spokesman Aileen Lizada stressed the need for better public transportation.

“What we need to do is modernize public transportation so that private car owners will be encouraged to leave their cars behind and take the public utility vehicles provided by the operators—one that is compliant with Omnibus Franchising Guidelines,” Lizada said.

LTFRB records show that around 2.5 million vehicles were registered in Metro Manila, 1.5 million of which were private cars.

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