Experiencing and Surviving the Baguio City Traffic
If you have visited Baguio City on a long weekend or during the holiday season you would know that there is indeed a problem on traffic. We’ve experienced this again just this weekend, blame it on the fact that it is a long-weekend for the Chinese New Year celebrations, the CARAA competition, a national quiz bee competition and some travelers chose Baguio City as their place for school or company retreat this past weekend! Let’s just say everything added up causing the surge of tourists in Baguio City.
The Traffic Effect
According to research the Philippines will stand to lose P6 Billion daily because of traffic by 2030. We all are familiar with the saying that time is money. The time we waste as we sit idly when we are stuck in traffic amounts to a monetary value which we could have used to do productive work. Fortunate for us in Baguio City though because the traffic happens only during weekends, holidays and whenever there are special events. Still that doesn’t mean that the City will not lose money because of traffic. Businesses in Baguio City need to operate efficiently during the holiday season which means if traffic is hampering their progress to deliver the necessary goods to their clients then that is lost business. Because of this situation, the government really needs to find a solution to this problem.
Surviving the Traffic
While we await the intelligent solution to this problem by our esteemed government officials, as individuals we can do something to at least mitigate the problems caused by the traffic in Baguio City. The following solutions are based on our experiences.
Problem: Horrendous Traffic Jam going to Baguio City’s Tourist Spots
Solution: Know your route, in this day and age a printed map is still handy especially so that your internet connection might fail when you try to use an online map. Before setting out try to check alternate routes going to your destination. By experience when we rode a taxi we were never stuck in traffic because we took alternate routes going to our destination. It would, of course, become a problem if there are no alternate routes to your destination.
Problem: It’s Difficult to Get a Taxi
Solution: To get a taxi in Baguio City during this situation, you have to apply a little strategy. If you are at the central business district especially at Session Road, you have to observe if there are other people trying to get a cab, if there are then it might be a bad idea to stay where you are and wait for a cab to stop in front of you. What we usually do is to go to places where we know passengers riding a taxi will surely disembark, like the bus station. If you are in the area of the Session road round-about your best bet to get a taxi is at governor pack road. You can also go to SM Baguio and fall in line at the taxi waiting areas. However, the second option is not possible if there is an ongoing parade or if it is already the mall’s closing time.
The best solution we’ve tried so far though is to use the Grab (formerly Grab Taxi) app. By using the app we are able to Grab a Taxi while at a comfortable location. Just a few taps and we just need to wait for Grab taxi drivers to bid. Truth be told, though, last Saturday it took us 2 hours before we were able to Grab a taxi, still it is a good option as we were just sitting inside an establishment waiting for our taxi rather than stand in the cold hope for the best. With Grab taxi, we also hope for the best but while we are comfortable and warm.
Problem: No time to wait for a taxi
Solution: Try riding a jeepney, this is why it is also important for you to know where the jeepney stations are in Baguio City. This will help you know where to ride jeepneys that would take you to your destination. Now if that is still not a solution, try walking. Because of Baguio City’s cold weather, walking is actually something one can enjoy rather than consider it as a burden. If your origin and destination are just within the central business district then try walking, not only it is fun it is also a healthy activity.
The Traffic in Baguio City is man-made, therefore, the solution is also within us, let us stop the blame game on who’s fault it is, rather we have to find a solution and abide by the solution. Wouldn’t it be better if we are part of the solution and not part of the problem?