We don’t need to be told that being stuck in traffic is a waste of time and energy. But sometimes we need actual facts and figures to drive the point home. Here are some figures ride-sharing service Uber has gathered for us from 9,000 people across nine of the biggest Asian cities:
- Across Asia, people are stuck in traffic jams for an average of 52 minutes per day, add to that around 26 minutes looking for a parking slot.
- The issue with parking is a real threat as 72 percent of Uber’s respondents claim they’ve missed an important meetings and events (including weddings and first dates).
- Metro Manila residents spend 402 hours stuck in traffic every year, which totals around 17 days.
- Building on that, on average, a driver in Manila can spend almost 23 days a year in traffic and looking for parking.
- It costs drivers in the city almost P100,000 looking for parking and sitting in traffic every year.
- On top of that, NCR’s annual CO2 emissions from vehicles could fill SM Mall of Asia around 2,000 times.
We have 2,300,000 cars on the road and according to Uber we only need around 65 percent of those on the road, which means taking out almost a million vehicles off the road. It’s easy to demonize the amount of cars themselves, as Uber’s General Manager for the Philippines Laurence Cua says, but the problem isn’t solely on the amount of vehicles but in how to efficiently make use of them.
A lot of us have been trained to think that when we grow up we need to have our own cars. But as Cua emphasizes, this is an inefficient way to go about things, especially now that congestion is becoming more and more of an issue (just look at the figures above).
And that is something the ride-sharing company is hoping to raise awareness for with its Unlock Manila campaign, a global campaign by the company that aims to put the spotlight on the transportation issues a country or region is facing and what can be done to solve these.
For Cua and the rest of the Uber team, they see ride-sharing as the future, a big part of the solution to our traffic woes. If you’re an Uber user, you’ll be familiar with UberPool, a service by the company that basically matches you with other riders that are heading in the same direction you are. Uber is incentivizing its passengers to make use of this with lower prices and drivers, Cua assures, aren’t earning less. Instead, they’re getting the most efficient use out of their cars.
He points out that having separate trips lead to more congestion but with using services like UberPool, you save everything from money, gas, as well as help in saving the environment a bit.
Cua even makes mention of Uber’s self-driving initiative in the US and how this ties into the company’s plans of having a more efficient transport system. He sees sharing and self-driving cars working hand-in-hand to make sure there are less cars out on our streets while still getting people to where they need to go.
He also sees services like theirs as a way to get people to try other modes of public transportation. He cites the example of people commuting from Alabang to Makati via the P2P bus and then just using Uber when inside the city. The aim really is to make the most of what we already have.