How can tech solve Manila’s traffic woes?


Technology could play a key role in helping the Filipino capital of Manila to ease some of the longstanding traffic problems that continue to cause significant issues in the city.

A study from Waze last September cited Manila as being the single worst city in the world in terms of its traffic, with an average commute time of 45.5 minutes – longer than any other global metropolis. Moreover, the Philippines was rated as one of the worst-performing countries in terms of driver satisfaction, further underlining the need for a solution.

This persistent congestion is causing considerable safety problems and economic damage, with former socioeconomic planning secretary Professor Arsenio Balisacan estimating the cost of Manila traffic jams at $51 million (£38.6 million) on a daily basis. As such, the city is employing a number of administrative and technological solutions, reports Tech Wire Asia.

To date, the success of these initiatives has been mixed, as the emergence of ride-sharing apps such as Uber has encouraged locals to buy even more cars to get into the business, while the implementation of a bus rapid transit service and a vehicular reduction scheme have not made a significant impact on the overall congestion.

However, future innovations could make a bigger impression, including the use of apps such as Waze and Google Maps to help plan the most efficient routes, or Uber’s carpooling option Uber Pool to help reduce the overall number of vehicles on the road.

Businesses that currently rely on staff commuting to fixed office locations may also be encouraged to invest in cloud-based collaboration and workflow management solutions, as this would reduce their reliance on the road networks, while yielding a number of efficiency gains in staff management terms.

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