Improving the social and economic welfare ofthe citizens is the aim of every nation. One basic economic and socialnecessity that comes into focus when discussing economic and social developmentis transportation. Transportation is an activity of life processes and thatseeks to provide access to various activities that satisfy mobility needs ofhumankind (Arasan 2012). Weisbrod (2010) defines traffic congestion asa condition of traffic delay, which is when traffic flow is awfully belowreasonable speed because the number of vehicles trying to use a road exceedsthe design capacity of the traffic network. It is widely viewed as a growing phenomenon in many developing areasbecause the overall volume of vehicular traffic continues to grow faster thanthe overall capacity of the transportation system.
For everyday commuters, the frustration oftraffic is obvious (David and Gregory, 2009). From an economic perspective,according to them, congestion’s main impact is the lost productivity from moretime spent traveling to work rather than working; delaying (or missing)meetings; foregoing interactions among individuals or personal activities dueto long travel time; and spending more time to accomplish tasks than wouldotherwise be necessary if we could reliably plan for accomplishing the samethings at free-flow speeds. In addition, Oni (1992) sees traffic problems asmulti-dimensional and confusing. The numerous man-hours lost in trafficcongestion and the wastefulness of human energy and motor fuel are factors thathave a most serious impact on the economic efficiency, productivity and socialperformance of the area.Furthermore, workers’ productivity can beaffected by various factors one of which is commuting to and from workplace.Thus, Weisbod et al. (2003) conclude that congestion leads to reducedproductivity through reduced worker access to job and shopper access to storesas a result of excessive delay in traffic.
Additionally, those who argue that thiscongestion is actually a sign that a particular place is developing are correctin some sense, but they do not account for the fact that users of the system donot pay the full costs of their travel. For example, because one more person intraffic makes everyone else’s travel slower and contributes to emission levelof the surrounding neighbor hoods and urban air sheds. Besides many tripsimpose costs on others exceeding the value of their own trips costs(Waliszewski, 2005).
These costs on others are called external costs, orexternalities. Moreover, according to Crowther et. al (1963),cutting traffic congestion by half will bring huge economic benefit toeconomies. This statement lends credence to the fact that traffic congestionhas negative impact on productivity.
InAugust 2010, Habee, one of the provinces of China experienced what isconsidered the world’s worst traffic jam ever, as traffic congestion stretchedmore than 100km from August 14 to 26 (Hickman, 2010). Such situation hasobvious implication on productivity and the socio-economic development atlarge.In many cities around the world, there areincreasing concerns about how the growth of traffic congestion may adverselyaffect the economy (business sales and income) as well as concerns about therelative benefit-cost ratio or returns on investment associated withalternative projects or policies to address those problems.Unfortunately, the difficulties and pattern ofcongestion, as well as the effectiveness of alternative projects or policies toaddress it, can vary widely from area to area, depending on the size and layoutof the city area, its available transportation options, and the nature of itstraffic generators. In the Philippines, you can add to the listthe traffic congestion in Metro Manila as another sure thing that theyexperience every day. MMDA reported 326,504 vehicles pass through EDSA everyday. 12,000 to 15,000 of them are buses.
In 2015, LTO-NCR recorded a monthlyaverage new registration of 14,783 multi-wheeled vehicles (cars, SUVs, busesand trucks) and 14,940 two-wheeled units.According to the Japan InternationalCooperation Agency (JICA), traffic congestion cost the Philippines P2.4 billionevery day in 2012. If remain unsolved, the country can lose P6B daily by 2030.The National Center for Transportation Studies (UP Diliman) explained that thecost of traffic is based on several factors, among them are: value of time lostdue to delay; fuel costs; vehicle operating costs; impact on health; andgreenhouse gas emissions. An average Metro Manila resident, mostly workingpeople travelling to and from their office, spends 1,000 hours a year intraffic and wastes as much as 28,000 hours of his economic life. Wastedproductivity hours amount to a monetary value that could be used for otherthings such as earning extra income or spending more time with the family. Also, Joey Tibayan-Bayan, a radio reporterlaments that going to and from work is such a chore.
She said that people wereall dressed up and looking fresh and clean and upon riding on PUVs, people weresweaty tired and looking so miserable. In Davao City, heavy traffic and roadcongestion has been an uprising concern especially in Mac Arthur Highway whichis one of the busiest roads in the Davao city. Virgilio Jebone, LandTransportation Franchising and Regulatory Board representative said that thereis a possibility that Duterte’s residing here in the city might cause thetraffic crisis similar to what happened in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu, whichhe said has declared traffic crisis caused by the rapid increase of vehicles inthe areas. As of 2016, Jebone said that the city has an estimate of 4,500 fortaxi vehicles, while there are more or less 2,000 for public utility jeepneys(PUJ).The researchers, who lives in Davao City andwho are daily commuters of the said area, sees the struggles and thedifficulties of employees in commuting to their respective destination everyday and because of it they were motivated to know if traffic congestion couldaffect these workers’ productivity through research and hopes to seek the bestsolution for this problem.