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10 easy ways for you and I to help ease traffic in the Metro

By Botchi Santos Philippine Daily Inquirer December 04,2019

Traffic is a reality we have all come to live with, but as traffic gets worse, brought about by numerous infra works and repairs, the coming Christmas rush and bad weather, the riding and motoring public have been clamoring for a drastic, dramatic change to improve the overall traffic condition.

But we cannot expect the government, or other people for that matter, to do everything, while we simply go on with our lives, doing the same things, and expect results. We ourselves need to contribute, to sacrifice a little, to fine-tune and adjust our lifestyles to truly help reduce traffic on the road. And it doesn’t require grand steps or massive changes. All we need is a bit of sacrifice, a bit of common sense, and a bit of empathy and fellowship with our fellow Filipino drivers and commuters on the road.

1.) Stay home, work at home – the best way to reduce traffic, is to reduce the number of vehicles on the road. If your office or business allows you to work remotely, please do so by all means! Save time, save money and save yourself from the stress of going through traffic!

2.) Carpool – if driving is unavoidable, car-pooling is the next best way to go. Carpooling reduces the number of cars on the road, allows you to save on fuel and vehicle expense, saves you the hassle of finding parking, offers better safety because you ride with people you know and should you get stuck in traffic, you are in the company of other people, rather than being miserable alone in the car.

3.) Commute – if you live in the south or north suburbs of Metro Manila, commuting especially on the modern P2P buses should help reduce vehicles on the road, minimize cost on your end, and save you from the hassle of slogging through traffic. Far more cost effective. Plus, in many of these buses, you can sleep or watch a movie to make the long ride more bearable or enjoyable at least.

4.) Walk, ride a bike or take a EKS to work – if you live near your workplace, walking is always a good, healthy option. If it’s a little further away, riding a bike or using an EKS (electronic kick scooter) should provide a bit of an adventure, but more importantly, reduce more vehicles on the road, and ultimately, lessen your time commuting to, and from your home to work, or wherever your nearby destination is. Just remember to pack a light rain jacket and umbrella.

5.) Rent a place near your work – if you live a lengthy distance away from work, perhaps you should consider finding a place during the week to stay nearer to your workplace. The added living expense might seem unwarranted, but the reduction in travel time through traffic, travelling / commuting expense, and overall quality of life improves, especially if you have more time to sleep / rest and do more important and meaningful things rather than slog through traffic, wasting your time away.

6.) Plan your trips in advance – if you plan to do a variety of short trips, plan it in advance, map your route, so you only ever need to leave the house once and do all of your errands in a single loop, rather than doing a variety of short trips within the day. If possible, bring someone along, too, so your companion can run down and quickly do some of your errands while you wait in the car, to speed things up and save you the hassle of finding parking for what might only be a 10-15 minute errand.

7.) Make use of the fast-growing courier / messenger services industry instead of heading out – we’ve seen the rise of various courier / messenger services in the country, with firms like Lalamove, Transportify and GRAB making life (and logistics) easier for many small-to-medium enterprises. If you need to pick-up, buy, send, deliver or order something (including food), make use of these services rather than going out and joining the fray yourselves. It will save you time, money, and allow you to do more important things rather than waste away in traffic.

8.) Send the kids to and from school on a school bus / school service – Everyday, in the EDSA area, traffic is ghastly at around 6:30-7AM, 11:30-12:30PM, and 4PM onwards. The culprit? All the private passenger cars dropping off or picking up students in school. And this area is just one example, right smack in the middle of the CBD. If we can reduce the number of private vehicles picking up students from a ratio of sya, 1:1 (one private car for every student), to say, 1:10 (one vehicle for every ten students), imagine how much traffic-causing vehicles we can reduce on the road, thereby speeding up traffic due to reduced congestion? This is especially appealing if you live near enough from your child’s school.

9.) Try to organize your meetings, appointments and engagements in the same place or area as much as possible – if your work allows you to, or you are a freelance professional / entrepreneur, try to organize your meetings in the same place or area on the same day, to save on travel time and traffic. If you have a meeting in say, Bonifacio Global City, try to schedule the rest of your other appointments in the same area. At most, you might need to walk a little bit from location to location, but that beats driving through traffic! Best would be hold meetings in your office so you don’t have to leave work. You can accomplish more work, be more productive and save yourself from wasting time stressing in traffic!

10.) Travel at night – since I work out of town 2-3 days in a week, I try to leave the night before to save on time, and despite arriving in my destination very late, it allows me to sleep better, sleep longer and rise up to work recharged and fully refreshed, rather than waking up very early and rushing to leave before dawn. This tip always works wonders for me. Though there is a bit more risk involved, it really does help you save on time and helps reduce traffic on the road during peak congestion hours. Just make sure you’re rested, stop every hour or so for a break, and have a nice refreshing drink coupled with your favorite playlist on your car’s infotainment system.

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