The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is seriously considering the negative citation that came from the 2023 TomTom Traffic Index released last week.
Tom Tom is a multinational traffic data provider and location technology specialist.
The Index defines metro areas covered by its survey as “a circle covering the city and rural areas in close proximity,” which perfectly defines the National Capital Region and rural areas like Cavite to the south and Bulacan to the north.
Metro Manila jumped to first place, beating former leader Bogota in Colombia which went down to fifth place.
Throughout the world, 387 metro areas were covered by the Index.
Initially, the MMDA sought to clarify the classification.
“We want to know the methodology employed,” said MMDA acting chairman and lawyer Romando Artes, asking if “there is an actual count and when did they conduct the study.”
He did, however, agree that the horrible traffic in the metropolis was due to several factors, notably vehicular volume; blocked lanes as a result of illegal parking; illegal structures and accidents; bottleneck areas caused by traffic conditions; construction of flagship infrastructure projects; and the suspension of the no contact apprehension policy.
Among the possible solutions proposed by the MMDA to ease traffic is the procurement of “covers” which would discourage motorists from stopping or slowing down to take photos and videos of accidents.
The Authority also wants future rail lines to be underground, as well as erecting more elevated pedestrian walkways.
Artes, however, took issue with Tom Tom’s citing Quezon Avenue as the busiest street in Metro Manila, which is in conflict with the MMDA’s findings.
“Per our data, it is still EDSA as Metro Manila’s busiest road based on our regularly conducted actual count,” he said.
“With this alone,” he added, “we can see that there is a difference between our data and Tom Tom’s. Quezon Avenue is only the third busiest road per our data.”
The Tom Tom index showed that local motorists in Metro Manila spent an average travel time of 25 minutes and 30 seconds for every 10 kilometers last year. This is 50 seconds — longer than it took to cover the same distance in 2022.
Following Metro Manila in the list were Lima in Peru, Bengaluru in India, Sapporo in Japan, Bogota in Colombia and Taichung in Taiwan.
Tom Tom, a Dutch multinational company, also named Metro Manila as the 9th worst for traffic congestion in city centers among 387 cities in the world. It defined a city center as “a circle with a radius of 5 kilometers covering the busiest parts of the city.”
Motorists were found to have spent 240 hours on the road, 117 hours of which were spent crawling through rush hour traffic at an average speed of 19 kph. This means motorists spent four days and 21 hours in traffic.
Last year, according to Tom Tom, Fridays from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm was the worst day and time to be on the road, requiring 35 minutes and 30 seconds to travel 10 km.
Motorists in Metro Manila last year travelled an average of 27 minutes and 20 seconds per 10 km in the metropolis. London in England, on the other hand, was deemed as “the world’s slowest city” with the most congested city center. This was followed by Dublin in Ireland, Toronto in Canada, Milan in Italy and Lima in Peru.