The number of vehicles in Metro Manila has spiked by 489 percent in the last four decades, worsening traffic and further choking Metro Manila’s thoroughfares.
Data from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) traffic engineering center showed that, in 1977, the average daily traffic volume in Metro Manila’s main roads was only at 477,133 vehicles.
The number breached the million mark when it reached 1,066,079 vehicles in 1987.
In the past 10 years, that figure has increased steadily to 2,181,330 in 2008, 2,265,643 in 2009, 2,288,884 in 2010, 2,457,874 in 2011, 2,216,948 in 2012, 2,535,078 in 2013, 2,575,896 in 2014, 2,563,814 in 2015, 2,628,987 in 2016, 2,699,051 in 2017, and 2,811,455 in 2018.
Of the total in 2018 were 251,628 private vehicles or 65.557 percent of the average daily traffic. Buses comprised 3.48 percent or 13,356 vehicles.
For MMDA traffic engineering center chief Engineer Neomi Recio, this means private vehicles are mostly to blame for Metro Manila traffic, with no existing law banning old models of vehicles or single-occupancy vehicles from plying the main thoroughfares. “Vehicles just keep on increasing, but the roads have not because these are still under construction,” Recio told The STAR.
Recio likened the traffic situation to the population where there are more births than deaths, or to a household where residents are crammed under the same roof. “The volume has increased by six times, but look at the roads, did it even double? EDSA looks the same years ago. It only means that our roads have not kept up with the increase of vehicles,” rued Recio.
Among the roads included in the average daily traffic tally are Edsa, CM Recto Avenue, Roxas Boulevard, Katipunan Avenue, Ortigas Avenue, Aurora Boulevard, Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon Avenue, and Marcos and McArthur Highways, among others.
Recio expressed hope for a more technologically advanced MMDA one day – equipped with high-tech cameras that can detect traffic violations without the need for human intervention.
The MMDA is also hoping for better laws to address the burgeoning number of private vehicles and for a better mass transit system.
MMDA’s traffic czar Bong Nebrija said the expected traffic come “ber” months came a month earlier, with volume of vehicles along EDSA already reaching 405,000 in August. Some 402,000 vehicles caused traffic along EDSA in December of last year.