Making Sense of the Waze Report Tagging Cebu as the World's Worst City to Drive

First and foremost, let me give a little background of myself. I was born in Bulacan, studied college in Manila for five years, graduated in  2007, moved to Cebu the same year and stayed in the city for about nine years now. Every year, I travel to Manila and Davao at least twice. I'm also a long time user of Waze App. What I'm trying to establish here is: I know what I'm saying.
Driving in Cebu.
So, there's this latest buzz about a report from Waze tagging Cebu City (or likely Metro Cebu) as the worst city to drive at. Looking closely at the published report, the famous Google traffic app uses the following indices to rank the cities:

  • Traffic – Density and severity
  • Quality – Road quality and infrastructure 
  • Road Safety – Density of accidents, road hazards and weather 
  • Driver Services – Access to gas stations and easy parking 
  • Socio Economic – Access to cars and impact of gas prices 
  • Wazeyness - Happiness and helpfulness of the Waze community (as measured by reports “thanked” by other drivers and driver moods selected within the app)

Among the 186 cities rated, Cebu ranked the worst at 186th. Of course, the prideful city inhabitants won't waste no time to cast doubt on the results especially when they saw Manila at 170th, less worse than Cebu. But can we really believe this report? My personal take is NO.

I have my own set of complaints about driving here in Cebu like drivers not slowing down even when they see people crossing the street just a few meters away. And the traffic has worsened dramatically in the past five years. But come on, Cebu is far better than Manila in terms of overall driving experience!

Making Sense of the Waze Report

Here's how Waze ranked Manila in the indices mentioned above:
  • Traffic – 0.33
  • Quality – 9.45
  • Road Safety – 9.73
  • Driver Services –5.95
  • Socio Economic – 0.00
  • Wazeyness - 0.95
Here's how it ranked Cebu:
  • Traffic – 0.58
  • Quality – 2.07
  • Road Safety – NA
  • Driver Services –2.5
  • Socio Economic – 0.00
  • Wazeyness - 1.35

So what's the biggest clincher? ROAD SAFETY DATA.  Why is Waze lacking data in Road Safety? I don't know but I would definitely say that Cebu has far less accidents and weather related hazards compared to Manila. If Cebu will be scored even just the same as Manila in this index, it may even make Cebu even better than Manila.

On the Flip Side, Cebu Inhabitants Should Thank Waze

The advantage of having this controversy is that it will definitely give attention to how Cebu government manages the roads and infrastructure of the city. With booming economy lead by the BPO industries, the number of cars and people in the city has ballooned way out of proportion relative to infrastructure. The two bridges connecting Mactan Island (where the airport is located) for example is a choke area, wasting people's time instead of doing something productive. 

So, that's it. I don't believe your report Waze but thank you.

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