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January 13, 2021

Manila Traffic, Noise One of the World's Worst

Despite community quarantines being in effect since March 2020 over the National Capital Region, Manila still holds the dubious honor of being one of the most traffic congested cities in the world. The Traffic Index 2020 by TomTom showed that Manila as having the fourth worst traffic in the world.

The study showed that Manila had a 53 percent congestion level. This means that drivers spend an average of 53 percent extra travel time stuck in traffic. For example, this means that a 30-minute trip will take an extra 15.9 minutes.

Other data reveled by TomTom’s study:
  • The worst traffic occurred on January 24, 2020, where congestion rates averaged 97 percent.
  • February is the most congested month on the average (68 percent), while April was the least congested month (0 percent).
  • Morning rush is typically 65 percent congested, but the evening rush is worse at 98 percent congested.
  • Best time to avoid traveling? Fridays between 6PM to 7PM. Traveling after 7PM, TomTom says, can save you 5 hours per year (for a 30-minute commute).
  • A total of 188 hours was lost by the average motorist in 2020. That’s equivalent to 7 days and 20 hours.
TomTom does note that thanks to remote working arrangements and the limitation on non-essential travel during the community quarantine, Manila’s 2020 figures are actually an improvement—an 18 percent improvement from 2019. In addition, the Philippine capital has had 128 days of “low traffic.”

In the 2020 study, Moscow has the worst traffic where congestion levels are 54 percent, followed by Mumbai, and Bogota.

Separately, but related to traffic congestion, the World Health Organization or WHO has labeled Manila as having one of the worst noise levels in the ASEAN region. While the U.N.-based organization recommends less than 30 decibels during the night for a sleep of good quality, Manila averages 99.3 decibels—above the ASEAN average of 83 decibels. According to the WHO, long-term exposure to noise levels of 70 decibels may induce hearing impairments.


  1. Well we're probably the only country in the world that considers bratatat bratatat jeepneys road legal

  2. also the buses are one major cause of the traffic , they are the king of the road send to the Jeepneys which are mostly colorum and not roadworthy anymore, another one is there are a lot of bicycle lanes which are not being used even at national highway like EDSA , buendia and Osmena (SSHW). motorcycles can enter the SLEX from edsa to villamor exit which are not for motorcycle scooter lanes.
    too noisy modified tailpipes is also one big issue that the government is not taking the action.


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