In the ‘book’ Inferno, best-selling ‘writer’ Dan Brown described Manila as the “gates of hell”, due to apocalyptic features like “six-hour traffic jams” and “suffocating pollution”.

While the average one-way commuting time in the Philippines may in fact be 45 minutes, there is no doubt that Manila is home to some of the worst traffic on the planet.

Once boasting a complex and functional train and tram network, after the Second World War Manila has become consumed by the car. And in a city of 13 million, where more than 50 per cent of people rely on four wheels to get to the office, things are only set to get worse. In 2015 the average speed of cars travelling in traffic is 33 kilometres per hour.

Traffic also has severe economic consequences for the Philippines, with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) estimating that Metro Manila’s traffic jams are costing the Philippine economy P2.4 billion pesos ($57 million) a day in potential income. The JICA warns this figure could balloon to P6 billion ($142 M) a day by 2030.

In this video, the team at Coconuts TV investigates how this ongoing crisis became such a nightmare and whether there is any hope for a better future. Watch the short documentary in the player below.

And let us know your traffic jam horror stories in the comments!