Traffic Status and Behavior of Popular Cities During Peak Hours [INFOGRAPHIC]

Updated: Nov 25, 2020

Urbanization has been making drastic changes in large cities across the globe, especially in growing economies. The increased affluence of citizens and influx of people from more rural areas have caused a significant increase in urban families owning cars. Combined with transport infrastructures like roads and lights that are unable to keep up with the surge in road usage, chronic traffic congestion has become a headache for officials and city dwellers alike. This has become such a challenge that commuting during rush hour can sometimes be a daunting task. In fact, time spent in traffic in certain cities in Asia is estimated to amount up to 24 days per year.

Despite the significant time spent in traffic, congestions are also usually unpredictable. This often leaves us helpless and frustrated, especially if you find yourself in an unfamiliar city. Apart from the tolls it has on our mental state, traffic congestion also affects economic growth. To give you an idea of how traffic affects our lives, here is an infographic of the traffic status and behaviors of popular cities during peak hours:

Cities with Bad Traffic Conditions

Manila, Philippines

The capital region of this island nation is home to over 12 million people with a daytime population of 15 million. This translates to around 21,000 people per square kilometer, making it one of the most densely populated cities in the world. A recent study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) for ride-hailing service Uber Philippines showed that the average time spent in traffic per person goes up to 16 days per year. And that's not including the 24 minutes spent a day looking for parking.

Recent efforts to alleviate traffic congestions include the consideration of an Electronic Road Pricing (ERP), improvements on public transport systems and the recent passing of the Telecommuting Act.

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is split up into 50 districts and holds quite a number of business and retail districts. With the exact location of Central Business Districts (CBD) shifting over time, Bangkok is now split into its Core CBD and Outer CBD. The Core CBD is made up of its original CBD locations, Silom and Ploenchit. While the Outer CBD is mostly made up of Sukhumvit. While the distribution of its CBD and the recently built mass transit lines have firmly anchored the Core and Outer CBD, traffic congestion in Bangkok is still a pertinent challenge. The same study from BCG shows that the average time spent in traffic per person is estimated to be 24 days per year.

Recent efforts to alleviate traffic congestions include stricter enforcement of traffic laws, road improvement projects, and flood control programs. However, some districts like Ekkamai, Ratchadaphisek and Rama III have also started to boom, providing reason to believe that the city is set for yet another extension of its CBD.

Jakarta, Indonesia

Inrix ranks Jakarta as the second-most congested city in Asia next to Bangkok and 17th in the world. With over 10 million people trying to get to their destinations in and out of the city, traffic jams are a common occurrence in Indonesia’s capital. In fact, the BCG study reported that the average time spent in traffic per person is estimated to be 22 days per year.

Recent efforts to alleviate traffic congestions include the high-occupancy vehicle scheme and odd-even plate program. To augment this, plans have been announced to integrate an electronic road pricing system that aims to charge motorists for entering certain roads.

Cities with Good Traffic Conditions

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo has managed to keep congestion at bay with an effective public transportation system despite being the most populous metropolitan area in the world. The city has an impressive infrastructure that includes a complex railway system and snaking bike lanes that eliminate the need for cars.

The railway system in Tokyo is so efficient that on a busy day, it might process up to three million passengers a day without much complaints and agitation. With such an efficient public transport system, for most residents its just not worth owning or commuting in a car, making the roads significantly less congested than other cities.


Singapore has done relatively well in alleviating, and improving, the challenge of traffic congestion. This has been done through multiple solutions including systems to control car and road usage like the electronic road pricing and certificate of entitlement system. Additionally, like Japan, the country has an efficient and constantly improving public transport system.

Singapore has also embraced technological innovations like carpooling initiatives such as Grab-share to further curb congestion. Singapore now sits at the 55th place on the TomTom Traffic Index, an index that ranks the severity of traffic congestions on roads during peak hours across major cities.

Final Thoughts

Getting caught in heavy traffic is something that we all want to avoid. With the help of innovative and well executed solutions, combined with some savvy decision making, there’s a chance to significantly alleviate the growing traffic congestion wherever you are in the world. However, perhaps for some, the solution might be thinking out of the box by taking urban mobility to the skies.

We believe Ascent is a step forward - one where mobility is an end-to-end service, starting with helicopters to skip the traffic and with first and last mile land transport to get from door-to-door seamlessly. A platform built specifically for you to regain control and value of your time.

About Ascent

Ascent is Asia’s first technology-powered air mobility service. It is an on-demand helicopter service designed to make cities more connected by moving people safely, seamlessly and affordably by air, using turbine single and twin engine helicopters, from Airbus, Bell and Leonardo. Ascent operates between more than 15 activity hubs including international airports, central business districts, and popular leisure destinations. Users can complement their journey by availing of value-added services including luggage transport, first and last-mile ground transport amongst other services. In addition, passengers fly on curated aircraft in accordance to COVID-19 related safety protocols such as enhanced aircraft cleaning and frequent health checks on crew.

With Ascent, passengers regain control of their time, and move in safe, crowd-free and controlled environments, with flights operated by best-in-class operators such as INAEC Aviation Corp in the Philippines, Advance Aviation and SFS Aviation in Thailand, ensuring the highest operational and safety standards. Ascent is committed to Climate Neutrality and is endorsed by the Department of Transportation and Department of Tourism in the Philippines.

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