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Metro ‘traffic dream’ to take 15 years, cost $65 B – study

Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - September 6, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines – It could take another 15 years and $65.3 billion worth of investments to solve the horrendous traffic in Metro Manila, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

This was contained in a NEDA study conducted with technical assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which recommended a roadmap for the implementation of a comprehensive Dream Plan by 2030 for Metro Manila and mega Manila to address the growing population and demand for better transport in the National Capital Region.

At the time the study was conducted in 2014, the report described traffic congestion in Metro Manila and its peripheries as a major issue, which will become a major headache and nightmare if not acted on by the government.

The report noted that traffic demand is at 12.8 million trips in Metro Manila and six million in the adjoining cities of Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and Cavite. The trips are made mostly through public transport at 69 percent share of total trips while the rest are through private transport.

“Yet it is this mode that takes up 78 percent of road space,” the report added, refering to private vehicles.

It was noted that traffic volume “already exceeds road capacities in most of the urban road sections and congestion is felt all throughout the day from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“Traffic congestion does not only reduce the travel speed of road users but also increases uncertainty to distinctions and punctuality in transport operation,” the report added.

“If nothing is done, the situation in 2030 will become a nightmare. All roads will be saturated. Negative impact on economic, social and environmental aspects will be so large, deterring the function and livability of Metro Manila,” the report added.

The same report showed the transport cost of road users, including vehicle operating cost and time cost, is pegged at P2.4 billion a day in Metro Manila. The amount will increase to P6 billion day by 2030 if the government and the private sector will not act on the problems today.

If no interventions are made, the study showed the average low-income households will have to spend no less than 20 percent of their monthly household income for transport.

If Metro Manila’s current transport system is not improved, roads and railways will be insufficient in solving traffic congestion, the report said.

The study discussed the three  “interrelated” major urban problems in Metro Manila, namely, traffic congestion, natural disasters (flood, earthquake, typhoon and landslide, etc), and affordable housing (slum/squatter areas).

The Dream Plan

Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino, chairman of the Senate committee on economic affairs, has set a hearing at 1 p.m. today for updates on the administration’s implementation of the Dream Plan 2030 under the Roadmap for Transport Infrastructure Development for Metro Manila and surrounding areas (Region 3 and Region 4-A).

Apart from Aquino, Sen. Grace Poe has also expressed concern over the impact of heavy traffic on the economy. Poe has vowed to look into the developments in the attempts of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to rehabilitate MRT-3 railway system to ensure safety of the riding public.

ACIRC DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS DREAM PLAN GRACE POE IF METRO MANILA JAPAN INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGENCY MANILA METRO METRO MANILA TRAFFIC TRANSPORT
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