Lately, the local government has strictly implemented some policies in order to decongest the roads in Manila and lessen the traffic. Bus vehicles are now banned from accessing selected roads in Manila. This solution was said to have been based from study and cameras were checked to see the results of this policy.
So, what happened? Are roads decongested? Is traffic lessened? Yes, to a certain degree. But is this the right solution? Could the results have been furthered?
Public commuters are aggravated. That's true. They have to walk a few kilometers to get to the next stop to take a jeepney ride. They had to get another route to get to their destination. They had to take few more rides. These translated to consumed time. The roads may be decongested but the positive effects are only felt by the private commuters. What about the public commuters? The rebuttal of the local government is that the public commuters SHOULD walk just as what foreigners do in other countries. My take on it is that the environment here is different from the countries they are referring to. Walking there is convenient. Another take, now that the concentration of bus vehicles have lessened, are the public commuters lessened? No. So what do they do? Find another means of transportation. Are the available means enough to cater all these? Judging by the comparison of the number of people a bus vs. a jeepney can hold, it seems unlikely. This means there should be an increase of these modes of transportation which would defeat the purpose of lessening the vehicles on the road.
As I have observed, this solution is not well thought of. Honestly, I feel like they've read yahoo comments, took one suggestion and implemented it without any further thought. I've read this suggestion before. I think the local government has read it as well. The bad thing is they're planning to implement this to provincial bus as well. They're planning to build a centralized provincial bus terminals and would be subsidized by the government. Hmm. I'll tackle on this later.
If I would be given the chance to contribute an idea, here's few:
1. Strictly implement bus lanes and stops. The problem with the road is that bus gets to stop anytime for them to load or unload passengers. Because of this, vehicles behind the bus would be affected. By providing and implementing strict compliance to bus lanes and stops, private vehicles are free to overtake those bus who "stopped" by.
2. Decongest rush hour. You see, congested roads exist because of the presence of commuters. In other countries, they have decongested rush hours by assigning time slots people in different sector should go to work.
3. Let the government take over the public transportation industry. The reason why bus stops wherever it wants is that drivers and conductors are paid by commission. They need to have more passengers in order to make more money. If they have a stable pay, they need not to break traffic rules which also contributes to the traffic.
These three may have negative effects as well. But in my opinion, they are logical and more peaceful compared to what they have implemented.
On the other hand, I have a hunch that the reason they are planning to implement the centralized provincial bus terminals is to justify the budget they get. Sorry, but the terminals are supposed to be subsidized. Even its operational expenses (not including electricity and water after 6 months of implementation). Getting the budget means they get the chance to "fatten" the budget according to their personal needs. Haiy. I have to commend them on this one. Smart move. Not a good one though.
Take care of your people. In return, they'll take care of you. That's another advice I would like to say given the chance. Please, you are doing public service. Your job is for the people.
Public service yet with personal interests. Haiy. Still, the Philippines have hope. Hope never runs out.