World’s worst

Waze judges Manila’s traffic hardest to navigate

MANILA was judged as the city with the worst traffic on the planet by users of Waze, a mobile application that helps motorists navigate congested streets around the world.

“On a city level, Manila reported the worst traffic on Earth, with Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Jakarta not far behind,” Waze said on its website  Thursday.

By country, the Philippines was ranked ninth worst, with a score of 3.9. El Salvador (2.1) and Guatemala (3.0) offered “the worst driving experiences in the world,” due to frequency and severity of traffic jams, lack of driver services, and poor road infrastructure.

Behind the Philippines were Panama (3.8); Indonesia, Romania and Ecuador (all with 3.7); Colombia (3.3); Venezuela (3.3); Guatemala (3.0) and El Salvador (2.1).

The Netherlands topped the list with the best driving experiences in the world with 7.9 rating followed by Latvia (7.3), the Unites States (7.2), Sweden (7.2), Czech Republic (7.1), Belgium (7.0), France (6.9), Italy (6.8), Hungary (6.8) and Slovakia (6.7).

“The Dutch driving experience can’t be beat! Despite the fact that the Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world—behind Bangladesh, South Korea and Taiwan—the country performed best overall and outranked all other countries with the least amount of traffic,” Waze said.

“On a city level, Phoenix, Arizona has the best driving conditions in the world, with low traffic and self-identified “happy” drivers,” it added.

The Netherlands, Slovakia, Sweden, and Czech Republic all reported an easy, breezy driving experience in the Top 5.

“Believe it or not, the US and France have some of the lightest traffic in the world thanks to smaller cities with appropriate infrastructure that’s easy to navigate,” Waze said.

Waze also cited several Latin American countries including El Salvador and Guatemala as the “toughest places to be a driver right now, ranking last due to frequency and severity of traffic jams, lack of driver services, and poor road infrastructure.”

The navigation app evaluated the driving experience of 50 million users in 32 countries and 167 metropolitan areas to create the world’s first “Driver Satisfaction Index”, a single numerical score from satisfying (10) to miserable (1).

The Waze Driver Satisfaction Index is based on six key factors: traffic Level by frequency and severity of traffic jams; road quality and infrastructure; driver safety based on accidents, road hazards and weather; driver services like access to gas stations and easy parking; socio-economic factors including access to cars and impact of gas prices; and “Wazeyness,” the level of helpfulness and happiness within the Waze community

Early this year, research firm Numbeo came up with a study showing the Philippines as having the fourth worst traffic in Asia and ninth worst in the world.

Numbeo’s collated data on the traffic situation of 88 countries for its 2015 Traffic Index, showing that the Philippines obtained a “traffic index” of 202.31.

The traffic index refers to the “composite index of time consumed in traffic due to job commute, estimation of time consumption dissatisfaction, carbon dioxide consumption estimation in traffic and overall inefficiencies in the traffic system.”

Numbeo said the Philippines ranked fourth in Asia, behind Bangladesh, Jordan and Iran.

Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino, who came under fire and was asked to resign over the worsening traffic problem in Metro Manila, said the study showed the need for 10 more MRT lines in Metro Manila.

Tolentino also said the study highlights the need for the country to disperse industries to the countryside.

Traffic in Metro Manila, according to Japan International Cooperation Agency, cost the Philippines P2.4 billion a day in productivity losses

The chaos could reach to P6 billion a day by 2030 in terms of productivity losses, and this was nearly three times or 2.5 times the current estimated losses a day.

On Thursday, Senator Ferdinand ‘‘Bongbong’’ Marcos Jr. pushed for the development of areas outside Metro Manila as a long-term solution to solving traffic congestion.

“Experts say the most effective major and long-term solution that is being proposed to address this gigantic traffic and urban congestion problem in Metro Manila is to develop the areas around it that have strong economic potential. For example, Cavite and Batangas to the south; Bulacan, Pampanga, Olongapo and Tarlac to the north; and Rizal to the east,” he said.

Marcos, chairman of the Senate committee on local government, said the focus should no longer be developing the National Capital Region, but areas chat will called the “Greater Capital Region.”

Also on Thursday, the Department of Transportation and Communications announced that it has contracted a Canada-based firm to upgrade the signaling system of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3.

DoTC said that the P53.37-million contract was awarded to Bombardier Transportation Signal Ltd. to minimize and eventually eliminate glitchesont the MRT-3 as part of the agency’s railway rehabilitation efforts.

Under the contract, Bombardier will replace the existing local control system called MAN 900 with the more contemporary EBI Screen 900 over seven months.

Another solution proposed  Thursday  was the use of double-decker buses that can carry more passengers.

Highway Patrol Group director Chief Supt. Arnold Gunnacao said the proposal came from Bataan Rep. Enrique Garcia Jr.

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