According to the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), city traffic in our beloved country is caused by these top five factors:
- Mixed traffic with pedestrians
- Saturated demand
- Boarding/alighting malpractice of PUJs at intersections
- Illegal roadside parking; and
- Unruly driving behavior
Should we say thanks to ride-sharing apps like Grab or Angkas? Definitely. But sadly, that really doesn’t do much either but add to the already voluminous number of vehicles plying our toxic roads each passing day.
With an effective solution to Philippine traffic far from our sights just yet, let’s focus our attention on the various facts and figures of the Philippine transport system and the alternatives we can take as commuters to get from point to point in this jungle we call Metro Manila.
Know your facts
“That’s okay, let’s take the train,” they’ll tell you. Unfortunately, with much wear and tear experienced by our LRT1 due to its being in operation for over 35 years, the MRT 20 years, and LRT2’s 16 years, there’s also no wonder commuters experience train problems 10 times a week on average. Add to that the classic Philippine National Railways which date back to 1891 and we have a train museum on our Philippine railroads. PNR is notorious in canceling scheduled trips so don’t count on riding it on a regular especially if you are along the Tutuban-Alabang route.
So what else adds to the aggravation of our country’s traffic?
Heres’ just what’s on top of everyone’s mind: there’s poor road quality all over Metro Manila cities including major highways, a lack of institutional enforcement, and limited investments in transport infrastructure. However, with the current administration’s Build, Build, Build program, we can only hope that solutions are on the way to ease our congested roads and impatient bladders which are both brought about by our terrible traffic situation.
Don’t forget your virtual map
With an internet connection and one tick on your mobile phone’s screen, you can instantly download Google Maps or Waze for free and know your way around unfamiliar territories like Magellan knows the Pacific Ocean. Most websites will also show you relevant locations via embedded maps if you search for a place you’re planning to go to.
If you’re a student who takes daily Public Utility Vehicles for transport, Sakay.ph is the best source of travel information you can consult in a jiffy. The website will show you the best options for travel routes, ride availabilities, and fare amounts from point to point. Have more questions about a route or place? Sakay.ph communities are also there to guide you along the way.
Hail these God-given rides
However, if you prefer to sleep through traffic and slouch at the backseat of a car instead, Grab rides are available for a sum that will depend on passenger demand and traffic situation, while if you choose to ride via GrabShare then you get lower fares but with more passengers in tow.
Taxi rides are more convenient nowadays as well with less picky cab drivers, thanks to a more competitive meter re-calibration. But make sure you know the current rates, which are Php13.50 per kilometer and Php2 per minute while onboard and don’t be surprised if your cab ride turns out to be more expensive than all the convenience that a Grab ride can offer instead.