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Traffic in Manila

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Traffic in Manila

Postby Johnny1975 » Sun Dec 06, 2015 7:05 pm

I've tried looking for some kind of map that shows what the traffic is like in different areas, and at what times, but no luck. Does anyone know of any site that shows this kind of information? Salamat.
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Re: Traffic in Manila

Postby Ghost » Mon Dec 07, 2015 5:15 am

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Last edited by Ghost on Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Traffic in Manila

Postby Johnny1975 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:00 am

It's strange how people say that Manila has the worst traffic in the world. I've watched a lot of videos of the roads there and the only ones where the traffic is really bad are the ones that are about the traffic and how bad it is. In most of the others it's not jam packed, it's just busy, and a bit noisy. Maybe it just looks bad because of the way people drive, plus the jeepneys, trikes, bikes, and people weaving in and out.
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Re: Traffic in Manila

Postby Rock » Mon Dec 07, 2015 4:29 pm

Of all the metro areas and cities I've been to, I can't think of one which is more challenging to get around than Metro Manila. Mind you, I've been in many cities all over China, E/SE Asia, Caribbean, Latam, and Europe.

With the exception of Sundays, the only safe time to get around Metro Manila around from evening 9-10 pm through 7:30 am the next morning. Rest of time is often perpetual traffic jam.

The last two times I went to airport to catch a flight from Terminal 3, I actually had to get out of taxi and walk the last 2 km with my bags on the skyway, down the off ramp, through a nasty construction zone all the way to the terminal. And airport is just a few km from where I stay in Makati plus I left my condo over 3 hours before my flight. I had company from other cars walking on the skyway those times too. It was non-moving traffic for over 30 minutes. I apologized to my taxi driver for leaving him stranded lol.

Even Jakarta was easier for me to get around and I was there just last month.

To give you and idea of how serious the traffic problem is in Metro Manila, they basically shut down most work here for nearly a week during the recent hosting of APEC summit in Pasay to ensure the logistics of the event would go smoothly. That's right, it was a free week off work for many people in Metro Manila.

Here are some of the problems:

- Huge recent increases in vehicle volume. Various classes of vehicle unit sales in 2013 and 2014 were up like 20-60% year-on-year.

- Very low road space to total area ratio compared to other cities. Not enough metro land is dedicated to streets, roads, or sidewalks for that matter.

- Lack of highways, overpasses, expressways, or major thoroughfares compared to other cities.

- Crumbling public transport system. Number of MRT and LRT trains has been declining as broken down trains tend not to get repaired but rather put indefinitely on the sidelines. Money goes to other places. So sometimes, even after you make it to crowded platform, you have to wait 30-60 minutes to smash your way on a train if you are traveling during peak hours which is really when you need the MRT/LRT most (to avoid EDSA/Taft gridlock).

- Very loud bus horns and chronic honking by all vehicles.

- Underpriced taxis which means not enough of them. If I leave a mall such as Glorietta/SM Makati or say Market Market after around 4-5 pm, I often have to wait in taxi or jeepney lines for 60-90 minutes just to get on board. Then the ride can be another hour or more even though I live so close.

- Cramped and out of date jeepneys (large songtaews would be much better, cleaner, and user friendly), FX, and trikes as public transport choices. No space for busses except EDSA and a few other places.

- No quick and practical alternatives for urgencies like motorbike taxis readily available in Bangkok and Jakarta.

I know a couple who live in Pasig and work in Bulacan, both in the public court system. They spend over 2 hours just commuting to work in the morning and another two driving back at night. But the distances travelled are very modest and they leave super early in morning.

No ifs and or buts about it. Metro Manila overall, IMO has the slowest and most stressful traffic of any city I've ever commuted in or simply gone from point A to B in.

Which city in the world is more difficult to get around. Perhaps Lagos Nigeria lol?
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Re: Traffic in Manila

Postby davewe » Mon Dec 07, 2015 5:19 pm

Johnny1975 wrote:It's strange how people say that Manila has the worst traffic in the world. I've watched a lot of videos of the roads there and the only ones where the traffic is really bad are the ones that are about the traffic and how bad it is. In most of the others it's not jam packed, it's just busy, and a bit noisy. Maybe it just looks bad because of the way people drive, plus the jeepneys, trikes, bikes, and people weaving in and out.


Rock's explanation is very detailed and accurate. Or you can take the simple approach and just accept the reality - it's bad.

Now there's a difference between a tourist and a resident. A tourist might spend a week in Manila, enjoy himself, live with the traffic, and consider it an "experience." A resident who has to live in Metro Manila or God forbid, travel to and from work - well, they have my sympathy.

BTW, Cebu City is bad also, though it has a ways to go to catch up to Manila. If you're a resident of either city, it isn't just the traffic, it's the pollution caused by the traffic. You couldn't pay me to live in either city. The rest of the country - that's a different story!
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Re: Traffic in Manila

Postby Johnny1975 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 6:28 pm

Sounds horrible. Unbearable. I couldn't live like that. It's one the reasons why I seriously have problems with the idea of ever moving there. Maybe if Duterte becomes president he can solve the problem by "removing" some of the traffic.
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Re: Traffic in Manila

Postby davewe » Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:27 pm

Johnny1975 wrote:Sounds horrible. Unbearable. I couldn't live like that. It's one the reasons why I seriously have problems with the idea of ever moving there. Maybe if Duterte becomes president he can solve the problem by "removing" some of the traffic.


While traffic is up there among the negatives in Manila, there's other things just as bad or worse. If you are genuinely considering moving to the Philippines Manila might be a place to visit, but not to live.
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Re: Traffic in Manila

Postby Johnny1975 » Tue Dec 08, 2015 12:11 am

davewe wrote:
Johnny1975 wrote:Sounds horrible. Unbearable. I couldn't live like that. It's one the reasons why I seriously have problems with the idea of ever moving there. Maybe if Duterte becomes president he can solve the problem by "removing" some of the traffic.


While traffic is up there among the negatives in Manila, there's other things just as bad or worse. If you are genuinely considering moving to the Philippines Manila might be a place to visit, but not to live.


Yes it seems that way. I do like cities, I don't think I could like in a small town. I've heard that Cebu is kind of grimy, and Davao, well, I find the mayor intimidating. I'd expect him to be lurking around every corner with a gun. I don't find the cities over there to be very nice. Interesting certainly, but not aesthetically pleasing. Manila is different though because there's so much variety and it seems exciting, but from what I've seen it's mostly run down looking neighbourhoods or artificial developments, with just a few normal areas. I wish it was more authentic. Plus the crime, noise, pollution, aaaarrggh. It would be too stressful. My idea of a good life is being able to walk around and see nice things and feel fresh and energized, maybe ride a bike in peace, but I can't see it happening there. The smaller cities like Iloilo, Bacolod and Dumaguete are too small for me. Baguio looks ok but again the traffic.

I get the feeling that the Philippines as a whole is only suitable for certain personality types, because there's so much to compromise on and I don't think I can do it. I'm thinking maybe if there's an area of Manila where there's reasonable levels of traffic I could consider it. But the country kind of scares me a bit, as much as it intrigues me. It's very wild and crazy, and raw, if you know what I mean. I just think it would only be a matter of time before it drives me crazy, or it might just surprise me and turn out to be the best place ever despite the chaos, kind of like walking into a crazy party and finally throwing your hands up and saying what the hell, might as well join in. I wish Spain would invade again and clean the place up, and put up some nice buildings while they're at it. I jest, but it would make a difference.
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Re: Traffic in Manila

Postby Rock » Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:40 am

Johnny1975 wrote:
davewe wrote:
Johnny1975 wrote:Sounds horrible. Unbearable. I couldn't live like that. It's one the reasons why I seriously have problems with the idea of ever moving there. Maybe if Duterte becomes president he can solve the problem by "removing" some of the traffic.


While traffic is up there among the negatives in Manila, there's other things just as bad or worse. If you are genuinely considering moving to the Philippines Manila might be a place to visit, but not to live.


Yes it seems that way. I do like cities, I don't think I could like in a small town. I've heard that Cebu is kind of grimy, and Davao, well, I find the mayor intimidating. I'd expect him to be lurking around every corner with a gun. I don't find the cities over there to be very nice. Interesting certainly, but not aesthetically pleasing. Manila is different though because there's so much variety and it seems exciting, but from what I've seen it's mostly run down looking neighbourhoods or artificial developments, with just a few normal areas. I wish it was more authentic. Plus the crime, noise, pollution, aaaarrggh. It would be too stressful. My idea of a good life is being able to walk around and see nice things and feel fresh and energized, maybe ride a bike in peace, but I can't see it happening there. The smaller cities like Iloilo, Bacolod and Dumaguete are too small for me. Baguio looks ok but again the traffic.

I get the feeling that the Philippines as a whole is only suitable for certain personality types, because there's so much to compromise on and I don't think I can do it. I'm thinking maybe if there's an area of Manila where there's reasonable levels of traffic I could consider it. But the country kind of scares me a bit, as much as it intrigues me. It's very wild and crazy, and raw, if you know what I mean. I just think it would only be a matter of time before it drives me crazy, or it might just surprise me and turn out to be the best place ever despite the chaos, kind of like walking into a crazy party and finally throwing your hands up and saying what the hell, might as well join in. I wish Spain would invade again and clean the place up, and put up some nice buildings while they're at it. I jest, but it would make a difference.


If ever you need to live in Philippines and require an international city, Metro Manila is the closest thing to it. You can find things here that simply don't exist anywhere else in the country in terms of specialized boutique type shopping, furniture, health food options, international and ethnic dining choices, lifestyle choices, entertainment prospects, etc. And the lion's share of relatively beautiful people, local, mixed, and foreign, are up in this area. The per capita GDP here is 3 times that of the rest of the country. Dire poverty and desperation is lowest here in spite squatter areas, slums, and beggars. So this is where money and action is at. I also feel safer living here (in condo) cus there is less regional style grassroots corruption than many provincial areas. If you ever live in a provincial subdivision, esp. as a foreigner, you are a sitting duck. The chances are very high that you will be burgled or perhaps even attacked in your residence. Neighbors will be too afraid to help you out much. That is not the case in decent urban condos in foreign popular areas of Metro Manila.

If you could tailor your life to be centered in Bonafacio Global City (BCG), Greenbelt/Legazpi Village/Salceido Village, or perhaps Rockwell and don't mind condo living in one of those areas, it's doable for fairly reasonable cost and you would have parks, space to walk safely, etc., especially in BCG. People who can spend even big money on rent (say 2,000 USD plus) can live in an actual house in a centrally located gated community in Makati.

Quezon City might have some potential as it's spread out and perhaps less congested along Quezon Ave. But I don't know as much about that area and it seems more run down and less foreign friendly to me.

Outskirts to the far south like Laguna etc. can be nice but really are much more suburban and require a car I think. Some people like Clark/Angeles/Pampanga and it's not all bars and hos if you get away from the strip. It's still fairly convenient for foreigners and a lot less congested (more spread out and a lot less vertical).

Baugio sucks IMO. There's really not much there (too small) and it rains a lot, and its bone chilling cold up there.
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Re: Traffic in Manila

Postby Zambales » Tue Dec 15, 2015 7:59 pm

I couldn't believe the time it took in a taxi from Vito Cruz/West Makati to Terminal 1, Sunday lunchtime. 15 mins! The same journey taken around midnight the day before took 40 mins. :roll:
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