Philippines: Manila voted worst city to drive on Earth

By News from Elsewhere... found by BBC Monitoring

image copyrightAFP
image captionHuge traffic jams are a way of life in metropolitan Manila

Officials in the Philippine capital Manila say they are putting measures in place after the city received the unwanted distinction of having the worst traffic in the world, it's reported.

Users of a road navigation app participated in a "Global Driver Satisfaction Index" poll, voting on their local driving experience based on factors such as traffic levels, road quality, parking and fuel prices, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reports. According to members of the Waze application community who took part across 167 metropolitan areas, Manila scored 0.4 points out of 10, closely followed by Jakarta in Indonesia, and Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Brazil. It's a finding which has led government officials to promise more to be done to help drivers in a city where the average road commute takes over 45 minutes.

Speaking at a media briefing, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said that officials were already looking for effective solutions to the city's traffic problems, but stressed that long-term measures were preferable to quick fixes. Traffic in Manila not only hampers economic activities, but also affects the health of motorists and commuters alike, GMA Network quoted him as saying. One of these solutions could be a mass transit system. Speaking to the Manila Bulletin newspaper, a planned "Mega Manila Subway line" would help ease the city's traffic problems, says Francis Toletino of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. The city is currently served by a light railway system carrying millions of passengers daily, and current plans hope to have major transportation projects in place, including a new subway system, by 2030. "Subways will solve our problems," Tolentino says.

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