MMDA points to TNCs as cause of heavier traffic but Grab disagrees

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Car volume has been blamed as one of the main causes for the heavy traffic in Metro Manila.
EDWIN BACASMAS/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Asked to pinpoint the cause of the worsening traffic situation in Metro Manila over the past few months, a Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) official on Friday cited the huge volume of cars on the road.

According to MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago, Edsa alone has exceeded its carrying capacity of 6,000 cars per hour per direction as it now serves around 7,500 vehicles.

Pialogo said that transport network companies (TNCs) were also one of the “contributing factors” to the bigger volume of cars in the metropolis.

Grab Philippines, however, believes that it does not contribute to the problem.

Grab Philippines country head Brian Cu said that despite the fact that TNCs had been forbidden by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) from adding more cars to their systems since July, the traffic situation in the metropolis had not improved.

“Traffic has gotten worse. It’s not the TNCs causing traffic because we didn’t add cars. But why is traffic still bad? It’s very hard to ascribe [it to TNCs] unless there is a professional and objective study that’s done,” Cu told reporters during the launch of the company’s 24/7 customer service center.

He said that based on their data, commuters using their app now spend an average of 45 minutes per trip from just 30 minutes in June.

With the start of the holidays, commuters should expect a longer waiting time, especially since demand over the next few weeks will increase by as much as 30 percent, Cu added.

But despite the higher demand, Grab will abide by the LTFRB’s cap on surge pricing, he said. – Jovic Yee 



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