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Uber backs NAIA-X extension to BGC

MANILA, Philippines — NAIA-X, the extension of the Skyway to the airport terminals, Cavitex, and Entertainment City, should go all the way to the Bonifacio Global City to maximize its potential for faster travel.

Using anonymized data culled from thousands of trips months before and after NAIA-X was opened last June, Uber said NAIA-X shortened average travel times in and around areas it serves, even for those who didn’t take the new elevated expressway.

Uber is making available its data to the Department of Public Works and Highways to help guide the government on its infrastructure programs.

“DPWH Sec. Mark Villar has embraced technology and Uber, through the online tool we call Movement, would like to be of help in every way we can,” said Uber general manager Laurence Cua.

Cua said “Movement uses the power of big data to help government officials and planners really understand the impact to travel times of the infrastructure projects and programs they roll out.”

For instance, Cua said Movement could help government planners determine improvements in travel times once the BGC-Ortigas Center link is built, or the proposed bridge between Binondo and Intramuros, or once the Stage 3 of the Skyway is finished.

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Based on an analysis of existing data before and after the June opening of NAIA-X, average travel times to and from the airports, from various starting points like Pasig, Rockwell and Makati, eased by a few minutes on average, even if at-grade trips are included in the computations.

“So if the NAIA-X BGC extension is built, travel on the skyway system from the moment a vehicle enters NAIA-X in Entertainment City or NAIA, for instance, it should be in BGC in around 20 minutes, down by half from the current average of 40 minutes.” Cua said.

This is already apparent when one enters the Skyway ramp in Alabang and exits at the Macapagal Blvd. or the airport terminals in around 30 minutes, he said.

Logically, he said, if more cars take the Skyway system, there would be fewer cars at the road level, easing traffic all around which was actually the original concept for the Skyway and at-grade combination.

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