Metro Manila has ‘worst traffic on Earth’ – Waze

MANILA, Philippines — Manila, on a city level, has the “worst traffic on Earth,” according to the popular navigation app Waze.

The Philippines is the 9th worst place to drive, revealed the 2015 Global Driver Satisfaction Index conducted by Waze. The Philippines is only a little ahead of Costa Rica, and behind countries like Panama, Indonesia, and Romania. 

Meanwhile, the top 5 countries with "most satisfying" driving experience are the Netherlands, Latvia, the United States, Sweden, and the Czech Republic.

Waze surveyed the driving experience of 50 million users across 32 countries and 167 metro areas. The report, “Driver Satisfaction Index,”  is the first of its kind. Drivers were are asked to rate their driving experience from 10 (satisfying) to 1 (miserable).

The Philippines did poorly at 3.9, a big leap from the Netherlands’ 7.9 score.

The survey focused on 6 factors: traffic level by frequency and severity of traffic jams, road quality and infrastructure, driver safety, driver services, socio-economic aspect, and “Wazeyness” or the level of helpfulness and happiness within the Waze community.

Traffic

The top 5 countries with the best driving experience said they had an “easy, breezy driving experience.” The US and France, according to Waze, have very light traffic due to “smaller cities with appropriate infrastructure that’s easy to navigate.”

This is a far cry from what many Filipino drivers and commuters experience every day. In the survey, an average Metro Manila commuter travels for over 45 minutes to get from home to work. Metro Manila commuters spent the most time on the road, the survey showed.

Some netizens have shared, however, that they endure even longer commutes streching from an hour or more – depending on traffic, availability of taxis and buses, MRT functionality, and the ability to use apps like GrabTaxi or Uber. (READ: #CommuterWatch)

With the country’s problematic public transportation system, many Filipinos have turned to ride sharing apps to ease their daily commute. But not everyone has access to this technology. (READ: The Filipino commuter is terrified)

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) earlier reported that the country's traffic congestion cost the economy P2.4 billion every day in 2012. The cost of traffic will continue to rise if the government fails to provide adequate solutions, JICA said.

The Philippines also ranked the lowest in the socio-economic category, which accounts for gas prices and its impact on living, access to cars, and the ratio of cars to the population.

On the upside, the Philippines ranked first in terms of the best "driver services index," pertaining to the number of gas stations, car services, and parking lots. It also ranked 4th in the "safety index," which is based on the density of accidents and hazards.

Among "big metros," Philippine cities Manila, Quezon City, Makati, Dasmariñas, Bacoor, Taguig, Valenzuela, and San Jose del Monte fared poorly with a score of 3.9, the 3rd lowest among the surveyed cities worldwide.

In an effort to ease the country's many commuting woes, the government came up with a unified ticketing system for trains. The system, however, is yet to be fully operational across all stations. 

The government also announced that it will be getting new MRT trains by January 2016 as part of its as part of its long-term rehabilitation plan. The MRT has been in use since 1999, with a less-than-amusing track record of delays, breakdowns, injuries, and derailment.

The beaten-up train system carries over 500,000 passengers per day even if it has a capacity for only 350,000. 

What is your driving experience like? Have any suggestions on how we can fix the Philippine public transportation system? Tweet us at @moveph using #CommuterWatch, or reach us at Facebook or move.ph@rappler.com. – Rappler.com