DID YOU KNOW: NCR motorists, commuters lost 188 hours to traffic jam in 2020
MANILA, Philippines — Despite the pandemic that forced the Philippines’ capital region into a strict lockdown for most of 2020, drivers and commuters in Metro Manila still lost an average of 188 hours, or 7 days and 20 hours, to rush hour traffic last year.
This, as Metro Manila ranked second in the list of cities with the worst traffic in the world in 2020, according to the latest Traffic Index of Netherlands-based technology specialist TomTom.
Although 188 hours is still a huge chunk of every motorist and commuters’ time, TOM2 noted that it is still lower than the 257 hours wasted to traffic jam in 2019 – or the year before the Covid-19 pandemic.
The TomTom’s 2020 Traffic Index reported that Metro Manila had a 53 percent congestion level last year, which means drivers spent an average of 53 percent extra travel time being stuck in traffic.
Weekday rush: morning vs evening
TomTom also discovered that levels of weekday traffic congestion in Metro Manila were at 65 percent in the morning and 98 percent in the evening.
The study likewise stated that in every 30 minute trip in the morning last year, an additional 20 minutes was added due to heavy traffic. Meanwhile, a 30-minute drive in the evening was extended to 59 minutes.
Based on TomTom’s data, the worst weekday rush hour in Metro Manila last year was recorded every Friday between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
“Travelling after 7 PM on Friday could save you up to 5 hours per year (for a 30-minute commute),” the company said.
In April last year, Metro Manila roads that were usually crowded and jam-packed with thousands of vehicles suddenly became empty. TomTom remarked that April was indeed the National Capital Region’s (NCR) least congested month last year with zero percent congestion level.
The national government imposed a lockdown of the entire Metro Manila as well as nearby provinces in Luzon since mid-March 2020, and by early April, expanded it throughout the island of Luzon.
TomTom’s study has attributed its April 2020 findings to the strict lockdown rightly so because the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease’s enforcement of an enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and Luzon halted public transportation, as it also prohibited mass gatherings and ordered the temporary closure of some businesses, excluding hospitals, groceries and drug stores, and other essential establishments.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the way we live, work, and move. Lockdowns, remote working, and other restrictions on movement have transformed patterns of movement and reduced traffic congestion in most cities,” it explained.
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