For years now, rapid growth of commuters and vehicles population have plagued Metro Manila, the center of Philippine socio-economic and political activity. Heavy traffic, pollution and all the attendant undesired results are problems that Metro Manila have to contend with daily.
A case in point is on EDSA, a 24-kilometer stretch from MacArthur Highway at Caloocan City in the north of Metro Manila to Roxas Blvd., Pasay City, south of Metro Manila.Considered one of the world's highest volume thoroughfares, EDSA is a semi-circular ring road link with several radial roads leading to the metropolis' social, economical and political centers. The avenue cuts across the cities of Caloocan, Quezon, Mandaluyong, Makati, and Pasay and bounds Pasig City and the town of San Juan.
EDSA's importance to the lives of more than eight million people - or 12 percent of the country's 68 million citizens who live in Metro Manila cannot be underestimated. Added to the metropolis' growing population are the transients and migrants who come to live in Metro Manila in search of opportunities. Every birth, transient or migrant, is a potential commuter who will likely join more than the 2.8 million people already using EDSA.
At the same time, every birth, and transient or migrant, is also a potential car owner likely to occupy 4.6 meters by 2.7 meters, the average car area of street space. The fast pedestrian and vehicle population growth has become a major headache for metropolitan planners who concede that Metro Manila's road, which comprise less than 10 percent of the country's network, cannot adequately accommodate pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Streets in the metropolis expand by less than two percent annually.
Statistics add that traffic has caused the loss of over P15 billion yearly due to lost man-hours, repairs and maintenance and lost fuel. Added to these are unquantifiable discomforts to commuters and vehicle owners undergo when they travel through major streets.
At worse, heavy traffic is taking its toll on the nation's social and economic build-up. Traffic in Metro Manila is expected to nearly resemble nerve-wracking conditions in Bangkok, Thailand and in other parts of the world. Experts agree that a long term solution, beyond just keeping vehicles off the streets, is imperative. One of the solutions that the government sponsored was the establishment of the EDSA MRT3 System.