INTERNATIONAL – Travel times have gotten longer in Asia’s most congested metropolitan area, and they’re expected to get even worse in the run-up to the Christmas holiday, according to Waze Inc.
It took about 4.9 minutes to drive one kilometer in Metro Manila in September, longer than the roughly 3.8 minutes it took in April, data from the Google-owned traffic navigation app shows. The Philippine capital region is set to top Waze’s 2019 ranking of the world’s worst cities to drive in, beating out the likes of Bogota and Jakarta, country lead Sarah Rodriguez said in an interview.
Manila Is Set to Be the World’s Worst Place to Drive In: Chart
Soul-crushing traffic is a regular feature of life in a city whose infrastructure hasn’t kept pace with incomes. It’s now a constraint on the economy, as aging public transport struggles to accommodate a growing population, fueling the take-up of private cars. It will only worsen in the remaining months of the year, Rodriguez said, especially over the All Souls’ Day long weekend when Filipinos typically go out of town, and before Christmas thanks to more frequent trips to restaurants, bars and shopping malls.
Waze expects to see a 16% jump in kilometers driven and a 10% increase in its 1.6 million active users over the peak November and December period, she said. “This is the time of the year when Filipinos travel the most and also spend the most time per drive.”
Movement patterns are also changing in the metro as more vehicles ply the roads and Filipinos opt to drive more. Waze data shows traffic now steadily builds up throughout the day and then peaks at night, Rodriguez said. Filipinos could be choosing to leave later to avoid the morning rush. They could also be squeezing in more trips in-between to make the most out of their drive.
“Two years ago, there were two spikes — morning rush hour and evening rush hour — then in-between there was a dip. Now, it has changed. There’s no more midday dip,” she said.