Metro Manila Traffic is Officially The Second Worst in The World, Says Global Traffic Index

Suspicions confirmed.

Metro Manila came in at second place on the list of worst traffic congestion locations in the world. According to the TomTom Traffic Index 2019, which analyzed the traffic situation in 416 cities across 57 countries on six continents, urban congestion in Asia is among the worst on the planet with four Asian cities in the top five.

Metro Manila is second with a 71 percent congestion level after Bengaluru, India, also with 71 percent. Bogota, Colombia came in at second with 68 percent, and was followed by two more Indian cities in fourth and fifth place: Mumbai and Pune.

The traffic index measures urban congestion through a percentage system that represents how much more time it will take to travel from one point to another point through a congested area in the city versus an uncongested area in the city. In short, it calculates how much extra time a driver will spend in traffic. For example, driving through Metro Manila during rush hour adds an average of 71 percent to travel time than if there was no traffic at all.

A snapshot of traffic congestion in Manila per hour of every day

Photo by TomTom Traffic Index 2019.

In Metro Manila alone, the study covered 306.4 million kilometers of roads, including highways and non-highways. A more in-depth look at their research found that the worst time for traffic is from 6 to 7 p.m. on Fridays. Morning rush is reported to have 95 percent congestion level, while evening rush is notably worse with a 128 percent congestion level. People on the road are estimated to spend 29 more minutes on the road during morning rush, and 38 minutes more during evening rush.

In total, the traffic index estimates that Filipinos in Metro Manila waste 257 hours or 10 days and 17 hours every year because of intense traffic congestion. To put that into perspective, that’s the same amount of time it takes to watch 227 episodes of Game of Thrones or 129 basketball games.  

The traffic index was created as a tool to guide drivers, city planners, automakers, and policy makers to help solve each city’s traffic problems.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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