Uber Offers Solution to Yangon Traffic

Uber Myanmar re­cently released a report by Roland Berger that advocates for the use of ridesharing in Yangon, detailing the positive impacts its could have on the city’s chronic traffic.

Compiled by interview­ing over 4,700 riders and drivers, the report con­cludes that ride-sharing, or the use of private cars for the public good, es­sentially, the concept of Uber, could make trans­portation in Yangon more efficient and significantly reduce traffic.

Their research indicates that nearly 20 percent of private car owners would likely not have bought their cars if they had had access to ride-sharing.

Therefore, in the near term, ridesharing could reduce the daily aver­age of vehicles in circula­tion in Yangon by around 45,000 vehicles.

“In Yangon the horror of traffic is perpetual and inescapable. A one-mile trip takes 20 minutes, a five-mile trip during rush hour, forget about it. An effecitve ride-sharing ser­vice could be the best way to address this problem,” Dieter Billen, Principal and Head of Roland Berg­er Co., Ltd, said.

However, as plucking leaves or planting flow­ers is easy, altering roots takes time. Experts ar­gue that the best ways to improve traffic in the near time is be to enforce traffic rules, build park­ing lots, and reduce the number of unregistered and unlicensed vehicles, specifically taxis.

Minimizing the number of vehicles could trans­late to a reduction of CO2 emissions by approxi­mately 423 million kilo­grams annually, equiva­lent to burning 160,000 tons of coal.

The report argues that by reducing the number of cars and thus parking spaces, city planners can in turn plant trees. This claim underestimates the downright lack of public parking in Yangon. Rath­er than suggest alterna­tive uses for the land, the focus should be on creat­ing communal, township by township parking lots.

“Myanmar is in a unique position to leapfrog other Southeast Asian coun­tries and embrace shared mobility as it plans for a smart city and car-lite fu­ture. Ridesharing is an in­tegral part of this vision, and as this research has shown can bring real and immediate benefits to rid­ers, drivers and cities,” Ei Phyu Lwin, General Man­ager of Uber Myanmar, said.

While ridesharing is po­tentially a large step for­ward, without enforcing traffic laws, eliminating bicycle rickshaws in ur­ban areas, creating pub­lic parking, and curtail­ing unregistered vehicles, traffic conditions are un­likely to change anytime soon.

Source: Myanmar Business Today