Aug 5, 2008

More expensive fuel means less traffic

On the brighter side of the perpetually rising cost of gas, Metro Manila's streets have become decongested. My proof is more anecdotal. I used to tear my hair out because of the craziness of the clogged and noisy streets. But now, even during rush hour, the streets are less noisy and there is less traffic when I drive out.

Of course, some of the decongestion can be attributed to the efforts of Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to get rid of illegal buses, taxis and the lot. But even the MMDA cannot be that efficient and it only took high gas prices to achieve what the lack of political will could not. 

After all, the streets became almost quiet and empty in the span of a few days and there is an eerie feeling of being in a sci-fi movie-- one where aliens pointed a ray gun on Metro Manila and zapped three-quarters of the vehicles. This is an effect that the pitiable efforts of MMDA could lay claim to.

And now for a quick review of the rippling impact of this development:
  • Less people will go out to the malls.
  • More peaceful streets, smoother commute/drive.
  • But will also mean less business for malls (notably restaurants and other shops).
  • Still, food deliveries will thrive. 
  • If we had a better e-commerce industry, this would have gained a needed boost as more people would prefer to buy things online and have them delivered.
  • Yet, I hope there was better mass transportation. More people have now be forced to use public transportation but the MRT, as most of us know, cannot absorb this increase in volume.