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February 20, 2023

It's Not Just Your Imagination: Manila's Traffic Worsened In 2022

Cubao to Makati in 5 minutes? How about 27? That’s the time it took to travel approximately 10 kilometers in 2022 according to the annual TomTom Traffic Index.

Covering 389 cities across 56 countries on 6 continents, the TomTom Traffic Index measures cities around the world by their travel time, fuel costs, and CO2 emissions. The purpose of this report is to help drivers, city planners, auto makers, and policy makers tackle traffic-related challenges.

With pandemic-related restrictions easing up, Manila has appeared to have the 4th worst traffic in Asia-Pacific (9th in the world). The average travel time to traverse 10 kilometers—the Cubao to Makati route—is 27 minutes or an increase of 40 seconds over 2021. The average motorist spends 241 hours in rush hour—100 hours of them in congestion.

Manila’s ranking makes it worse than Jakarta (9th in Asia Pacific and 29th in the world), New Delhi (10th in Asia Pacific and 34th in the world), and Bangkok (15th in Asia Pacific and 57th in the world). Manila is just better than Bengaluru, India—the worst ranked city in Asia Pacific, followed by Sapporo in Japan, and Pune, India.

According to the TomTom Traffic Index, the worst time to be on the road last 2022 was Fridays between 5 PM to 6 PM where the average commute went up to 36 minutes and 30 seconds. The worst day last year? Friday, October 28, 2022. The travel time shot up to 36 minutes and 10 seconds for the same 10-kilometer route.

The study goes further and says that the average Manileño could have read 48 books while stuck in traffic. The annual CO2 emissions generated by the traffic was 1,047 kilograms which will require 105 trees to absorb if you’re driving a gasoline-engined car, or 997 kilograms (100 trees a year) if you’re driving a diesel-powered car. For EV users, they consumed 1,264 kWh of electricity, or 32 full charges worth.

Now, if only employers would allow for flexible working conditions like Work From Home (WFH) on a single day (Friday), the average motorist would have saved 50 hours of travel per year or a reduction of 209 kilograms of CO2. If they allowed remote work three times a week—Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays—that amount would have been 148 hours saved and 617 fewer kilograms of CO2 emitted.

Between morning and evening rush hour, evening rush hour is worse for motorists with an increase of 16 minutes more to travel 10 kilometers. Meanwhile, in the morning, that time is just an additional 11 minutes more on the average.

Now, here’s the real kicker. With an average speed of 29 km/h during morning rush hour and 34 km/h during evening rush hour, motorists would have saved time, even if a little, if they decide to travel via bicycle, electric scooter, or electric moped. Based on the study, a cyclist can do the same 10-kilometer commute between 25 to 35 minutes, while an electric scooter does it in 24 to 32 minutes. An electric moped? 15 to 27 minutes.


  1. Simple. Move out! Ang laki laki ng pilipinas, bakit kayo nag sisiksikan dyan

  2. Solution:
    1. Decentralise Metro Manila. Abolish the provincial rate system.
    2. Office employees and BPO should be working from home only.
    3. Develop provinces. Tax incentives for businesses in the province.

  3. Is any one surprised??? Many has already accepted the reality of traffic congestion in ncr, they already resigned to dear fate☹☹☹

  4. Get out of the city. Live in the province. Breathe fresh air. Less traffic, less stress... Live longer.

  5. blame it on the administrations following FM that reversed all efforts to decongest MM; Like development of the transport systems and infrastructure; encouraging businesses, schools and real estate companies to set up campuses, subdivisions, satellites outside MM; preserving green spaces and parks in MM; ignoring the benefits of federal system of govt.


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