MANILA, Philippines - The sheer number vehicles in Metro Manila have caused the flow of traffic in the metropolis to slow down to a “miserable” crawl, according to the Concerned Citizens Traffic Watch.
Dr. Sahlee Carino-Buban Jr., a spokesperson for the group, said that Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) statistics show that in 2011, it took a motorist 2.13 minutes to cover a kilometer, making the travel speed at just 28.10 kilometers per hour.
This is a “major letdown” since the MMDA should make the travel speed at least as fast as 1.57 minutes per kilometer, based on the goal outlined by the Philippine medium-term development plan, Buban said.
The group said the Land Transportation Office reported a 28 percent increase in the number of new privately owned cars in the country. In 2010, there were 58,969 new cars registered with the LTO, adding to about 750,000 existing ones. The Chamber of Automotives in the Philippines Inc. reported a 27 percent jump from last year’s, with 168,490 new cars now using a big proportion of Metro Manila roads.
The LTO also reported that there are 210,840 registered jeepney units with franchises, with about 50,085 units plying in Metro Manila. Most of those with franchises are using mostly 10 to 20-year-old jeepney units, which normally cause sudden traffic jams due to accidental mechanical breakdowns.
MMDA reported more than 400,000 privately owned cars use EDSA and other major and minor roads everyday. Another 409,000 passenger jeepneys and FX taxis share the use of roads, along with 61,000 trucks and trailers. Buses only account for 6,087 units.
Buban said private vehicles and erring drivers of public utility vehicles account for most of the traffic jams and accidents, contrary to claims that buses cause most of the accidents.