Dutch navigation company TomTom has released its 2020 Traffic Index, which examines congestion levels in 416 major cities around the world. Unsurprisingly, data for 2020 showed how the coronavirus pandemic was able to reduce congestion levels in 387 cities around the world, and yes that includes Manila.
According to the report, Manila experienced 128 days with low traffic. Unsurprisingly the month of April experienced basically zero percent congestion due to the stay-at-home measures in place. By June, traffic has slightly rebounded, but it was still nowhere near pre-pandemic levels. Lockdown measures were once again enforced in August when COVID-19 cases in the country started rising again, which explains the drop in traffic for 15 days in a row from August 4 to 18.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Manila experienced its worst congestion for the year on January 24, 2020, with an average congestion level of 97 percent. This means that a 30-minute trip will take a whopping 97 percent longer than during Manila’s “baseline uncongested conditions.” February also happened to be Manila’s most congested month, with an average congestion level of 68 percent.
Work-from-home arrangements have also contributed to less traffic during morning and evening rush hours. Congestion levels during Manila’s rush hour traffic are at 65 percent during the morning and 98 percent during the evening. Both figures are down by 30 percentage points compared to 2019 figures. This means that morning rush hour has improved by 32 percent while evening rush hour has improved by 23 percent.
For the entire 2020, Manila’s average congestion is at 53 percent, making it the fourth most congested city in the world. This figure is down by 18 percentage points or a 25 percent decrease in congestion compared to 2019. This means that a 30-minute trip will take 53 percent longer than during Manila’s “baseline uncongested conditions.”
Claiming the unflattering title of the most congested city in the world is Moscow, Russia with a congestion level of 54 percent. This figure is lower by 5 percentage points and represents an 8 percent decrease in congestion versus 2019. Moscow is then followed by Mumbai, Bogota, Manila and Istanbul.