Rappler readers share how they really feel about Manila traffic and parking issues
MANILA, Philippines – Aside from work, sleep and food, two things are also now a constant in our everyday life: enduring traffic and looking for parking.
These may even dictate how we go about our day. We don’t just consider the time it actually takes to accomplish certain tasks; we’ve become conditioned to factor in the additional time that we waste in traffic or looking for parking. (READ: With emojis, hugot phrases, even Hangul, people shared how traffic made them feel)
How deeply do these circumstances affect society, especially in a fast-paced city like Manila? To find out, Rappler conducted a survey from November 9 to 15 among its readers, in partnership with Uber. A total of 4,397 responses were gathered from Filipinos aged 18 to 44.
The poll offers insight as to how FIlipinos value their own time, and how they believe the public issue of traffic can be solved or improved.
Plans depend on traffic and parking time
Have you ever declined an invite for dinner and drinks with friends on a Friday night? Or do you now often choose to stay in during payday weekend? This is becoming a common decision for Metro Manila residents who fear the worse-than-usual traffic on these days.
Among survey respondents, 44.91% always factor in traffic and parking time when making plans or fixing their schedules.
During a recent Twitter conversation that we conducted about traffic, netizens also expressed the same sentiment.
Many also voiced out dismay that traffic robs them of time for loved ones. In the survey, 34% said that they would rather spend time with friends and family if they can reduce the time they spend on the road or lined up in parking areas. Coming in as a 2nd priority was being more productive at work (26.66%).
Too many cars, or not enough parking slots?
On top of traffic, survey respondents also revealed that looking for parking can be a massive waste of time as well.
For most respondents, the average waiting time for looking for parking is 5 to 10 minutes (38%). More than a third of respondents (37%) claimed that they spend an average of 20 minutes waiting for parking slots to free up.
A recent Uber study reported that right now, Metro Manila needs an additional car park that’s twice the size of Makati, just to serve all the cars plying its roads.
Online, car owners complained that even sidewalks and actual roads are being converted into parking slots, further worsening the traffic issue.
The survey revealed an interesting split in perspectives when it comes to people’s thoughts on solving the parking issue. Almost half (49.65%) of respondents believe that there are not enough parking slots in Metro Manila. But 40.61% feel that it’s the reverse – that there are simply too many cars.
The survey mirrors what netizens raised during our Twitter conversation.
When asked what they feel is the best solution to solve traffic, improving public transportation (47%) was the top choice, followed by upgrading road infrastructure (30%).
Among solutions of private sectors, ridesharing wins over parking. 15% of respondents believe that ridesharing is the best solution for traffic, vs. only 8% for parking. Ridesharing skewed slightly higher for age group 35-44 (20%), the second largest age group of the Philippine labor force. More often than not they have higher purchasing power among other age groups who are willing to spend on convenience and comfort that ride-sharing offers.
So what’s the best solution to ease traffic and parking woes?
While long-term solutions aren’t available, ride-sharing allows more people to move with less cars on the road. Motorists now have the option to share trips instead of bringing one car for only one or two people. Less cars on the road mean less traffic and parking lines. Commuters can also enjoy safer, faster, and more comfortable trips.
Although not included in the survey, netizens are also open to other solutions such as working outside of Metro Manila and adopting shifting schedules in companies.
Even if heavy traffic and lack of parking spaces present daily problems, there are available solutions to help us move through the city, better. Positive change always starts with each driver, passenger, and commuter:
What do you think of this survey’s results? Share your thoughts on how to #UnlockManila below. – Rappler.com