Brand & Number Coding: Proposal in Mitigating the Traffic in Metro Manila

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BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Traffic has evidently become a long-term problem in the Philippines, particularly in Metro Manila. Through the years, many attempts have been made to ease the dilemma; but it seems to never end. As time goes by, several studies were made, Metro Manila, the nation’s capital, has also been consistently in the charts and headlines, mainly because of the problem caused by traffic jams. According to Waze, in their recent 2019 ranking, Metro Manila is dubbed as the “worst city in the world to drive in.” One of their bases was the average time consumed in driving a full kilometer in Metro Manila, and according to them, it takes 4.9 minutes which is the highest record, beating the previous record set by Metro Manila itself which was 3.8 minutes. In this case, it is seen that the situation of congestion and traffic in the metro is alarming, hence a big portion of time of the motorists is spent in the road.

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Traffic consumes a lot of time of every people in this country; the time needed to accomplish tasks is converted to minutes and hours in the road, stuck in the traffic, suffering in public vehicles for some. Collaterally, traffic majorly contributes to pollution. The accumulation of gas and harmful particles that leads to the pollution which can be harmful to people. Traffic also motivates road rage, frustration, and stress to people, it also risks the health of the people. Among the timely impact of traffic includes the death of patients in ambulances. According to Rappler, the experts blame the lack of special lanes for emergency vehicles and outdated infrastructures, and on top of it all, the unwillingness and inability of drivers to make way. No matter how hard the drivers honk nor the loud resonance of their sirens would not work, especially when the volume of vehicles is unruly and other drivers does not seem to care. Due to these, many lives are lost. One ambulance driver gave an insight that driving 5.7 kilometers would usually take them 5 minutes but due to the congestion, 15 minutes were consumed. The time difference is very significant, especially when saving a person’s life.

There are many factors that affect traffic in Metro Manila; reasons here and there that motorists and commuters point fingers to in causing traffic. Accidents are inevitable. Road accidents usually cause traffic congestion as well as the time it takes for emergency responders and rescuers to respond. Bigger accidents of course cause longer and heavier traffic. Another cause is poor urban planning and poor enforcement of laws regarding road management and commuting. Lack of discipline among drivers and commuters is observed too; public buses dropping off and loading passengers in inappropriate locations or beyond bus stops also contribute to traffic. The high and growing population in Metro Manila is a factor as well, considering that the place is central to many commercial establishments, job opportunities, and public services such as malls, hospitals, and even schools. The influx of people is expected and the number of occupants in the metro is also continuously growing. Another factor is the train system in the metro, the existing means seem to be insufficient to all commuters and there is an increasing demand to the railway system since it is faster and more efficient. In the past months, malfunctions if LRT and MRT have headline the news, people are also calling for the development of the existing trains. One factor that the agencies are looking at is the number if vehicles that are circulating the metro every day. The vehicles are the transportation means; Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) such as Buses, Jeepneys, and UVs as well as private-owned vehicles majorly compose the roads, and are the major catalysts of traffic.

In line with this, the researchers aim to propose an attainable solution in mitigating the traffic in Metro Manila, and might also be applicable to other cities in the country. The researchers focused in one factor, which is the volume of vehicles, and came up with the concept of Brand and Plate Number Coding working hand-in-hand to regulate the number of transportation – means in Metro Manila, specifically private-owned vehicles.

Statement of Need

The researchers are would like to address the long-term problem of traffic, particularly within the premises of Metro Manila. This problem needs to be addressed for it affects the daily lives of the people, and will also continue to be a problem in the future. Taking measures and formulating solutions as early as now would be vital for the common good and welfare of future generations. Traffic is so rampant in the roads of Metro Manila, especially in major highways such as EDSA. The researchers weighted the factors that affect the traffic in the metro and would like to focus on a particular factor: the volume of vehicles. MMDA has recorded 386,000 to 402,000 vehicles that traverse EDSA, in particular, daily which exceeds its capacity of only 235,000. And during ber-months or holiday season, this volume would even increase by 20%. Road accidents together with the volume of vehicles contribute majorly to traffic and road congestion in Metro Manila. When it comes to the vehicles that constitute the roads if Metro Manila, research showed that the vehicles that pass through EDSA account for 13.6% of the average daily traffic in Metro Manila. Two-thirds of the occupants are in private cars and only 11.4% are public vehicles such as buses, UVs, jeepneys, and taxis. Most of the trips done in Metro Manila are made using the public mode of transport, taking up 69% of the total share. The remaining is through private vehicles. However, the majority of the road space us occupied by private means. 78% of the road is taken up by private cars, even though it only constitutes 41% of the total trips. Also, according to another study of MMDA, there are almost 250,000 four-wheeled vehicles that cross EDSA alone every day. It garnered the highest number compared to motorcycles, busses, taxis, and trucks.

The proposal addresses the problem in the volume of vehicles in the roads of Metro Manila as a major contributor to traffic and road congestion. It is necessary since it has the potential to at least ease the dilemma of traffic, and among the beneficiaries would obviously be the public. With the research and data mentioned above, it has been drawn that private vehicles contribute greatly to the volume of vehicles. To define what a private vehicle is, it is simply a mobile mode of transport that is not intended for personal or individual use and not for public use. Common examples of private vehicles are automobiles, motorcycles, private trucks, yachts, private jets, etc. The researchers see the importance of having an enhanced coding scheme to regulate the volume of cars that journeys through the roads if Metro Manila daily. There is already an existent number coding scheme that is enforced in Metro Manila, known as the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program, and a concept which is proposed and formulated by Mr. Ariston Gorospe, which is the Car-Brand Coding Scheme. The researchers see that the enforcement of the latter and working collaterally with the existing scheme would be an effective solution to further reduce the volume of private vehicles in each day.

Proposed Solution

The researchers proposed to implement the combination of brand and number coding to solve the traffic crisis in Metro Manila. The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) established the Unified Vehicle Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) wherein vehicles are banned on a specific day, which corresponds to the last digit of the plate number or conduction sticker. Ariston Gorospe, a former Philippine Amusement, and Gaming Cooperation (PAGCOR) consultant advised on restricting vehicles based on the brand, not on the last digits of the registered plates.

The researchers suggested that these two programs should work hand-in-hand in order to be much more effective in order to have a greater scope of restricting vehicles that reduces the volume of cars, especially on the major highways in the NCR. There are these existing inconsistencies that the researchers pointed out in the proposed programs. The assignment of the day, digit, and brand should vary to the quantity of the registered cars and the density of traffic during a specific day. The quantity of the registered cars according to its final digit in registration plate and brand and the density of the traffic on the major roads of the Metro Manila will help to know which car should be banned on a specific day the roads are usually congested. The program should be systematic in a way that there is a basis on implementing the proposal and also there should be an established allowance of vehicles that is essential to determine the limit of the number of vehicles that should be banned during a corresponding day.

Day Brands Digits:

  • Monday Toyota 1-2
  • Tuesday Mitsubishi, Honda 3-4
  • Wednesday Hyundai, Suzuki 5-6
  • Thursday Nissan, Isuzu 7-8
  • Friday Ford, Foton, Chevrolet 9-0

 

The exemption of this rule is the motorcycles, public transportation, trucks, and other vehicles. The program is only applied to cars because of its dominancy in volume during traffic congestion on major highways, for example, Epifanio de Los Santos Avenue (EDSA), the most congested road in NCR. In order to test the proposed solution to the traffic crisis in Metro Manila, supported with up-to-date statistics and related literature, the proponents suggest the following methods of data gathering and analysis.

1. Questionnaires: To be distributed among: (for specific groups of people)

  • For people with personal vehicles
  • Delivery trucks/ vehicle drivers
  • Service drivers (private companies)
  • Service drivers (public utility)

2. Questions (sample concepts):

  • Routines, usual experiences in the road on a daily basis
  • Rating efficiency of current traffic – dealing system
  • Rating efficiency of coding number of vehicles system
  • What they think about the proposed coding system.

3. Interview/ Collaboration with PSA, DPWH, and MMDA offices regarding data for over the past five years including this year’s estimations:

  • Increase in vehicles and cars in a daily basis (excluding national holidays)
  • Traffic measurement data
  • Infrastructural or road development progress
  • Transportation terminals and reconstruction/ organization of routes system (include more reconsideration in road areas and signages)
  • Coding system data (number of vehicles lessened from the roads) (refer to first question)
  • The efficiency of the existing coding system

4. Statistical Analysis of records of data

  • Correlation of factors (vehicles, routes, infrastructure renovations, etc.)
  • Usage of ANOVA test, Measures of Central Tendency, Cronbach Alpha (surveys/ questionnaires), etc. for correlation or relationships between variables
  • In order to test possible outcomes of theory/ proposal, scales or a given set of parameters should be considered in also accordance to rules and laws implemented by the government. The said criteria can be based from current systems, and (if should be needed) approved by the government or organization officials.

5. Comparison of data factors showing in/significant effects

  • Using tables, charts, and other representational methods in organizing data for discussion of results

Delimitations

The study will not include thorough observation or look into the specific methodological strategies of companies or certain groups of subjects involved on how they deal with the proposed system. Such action taken shall preserve and maintain the confidential data of each company. Demographic profiles such as gender or age won’t be discussed and included.   

24 May 2022

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