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Let us modernize our metro manila bus system, not the jeepney system

October 15th, 2017 Posted in transport system
Let us modernize our metro manila bus system, not the jeepney system
Yes, modernizing the jeepney system with the same set of drivers we have today won’t solve our metro manila traffic problem. There will still be numerous of them blocking intersections, loading passengers at both sides of the intersection and still be the cause of grid locks. They will still operate illegal terminals and impede traffic flow at the end of road networks.
The correct solution is modernizing our bus system into two competing bus consortia – radial bus consortium and circular bus consortium.
The high volume profitable routes will subsidize the low volume non-profitable missionary routes usually dominated by the phased out jeeps and operated in a predictable bus schedule. I was in Leeds, UK and the municipal bus system operates in clock-work fashion. Bus stop posts shows the expected time the bus will pass and as commuter, you can be at the bus stop 5-10 minutes before schedule and queue to be able to ride and use your beep card to pay.
Why modernize the jeeps that lacks passenger capacity and passenger volume – they even have to operate an illegal terminal in order to survive and share the small volume of passenger – and then force them to purchase a costly vehicle? It will never work.
Let us follow the central dispatched bus consortium (of many bus owners and jeepney operators and phased-out drivers). The drivers will be monthly salaried and have minimum education requirement of college graduate like in Bangkok. They won’t be clogging intersections and drive with utmost courtesy thus avoiding gridlocks.
Using buses in major and minor routes eliminates many smaller jeepneys, AUVs, taxis and private cars since not all routes can be served by above ground and underground rail (LRT, MRT). There can be central dispatch to match bus volume with passenger volume at all times 24/7 operation. There will be intersecting radial and circular bus routes so passengers can navigate their way into the central business district in the most optimal manner.
Since the buses will be using beep cards, fares are paid electronically and passenger volume is monitored by central computers to optimize dispatch of buses in all radial and circular routes and complement the rail system (LRT, MRT).
Look at Tokyo and Seoul, they don’t have jeeps and small public transport, but have an integrated rail and bus system only to be complemented by a taxi system for the last-mile travel that is well-managed and disciplined.
Unless we phase out the low-capacity jeepneys and AUVs and replace them with an efficient centrally dispatched bus consortia of radial and circular route system using beep cards for electronic payment and computerized passenger volume monitoring with monthly salaried drivers, WE CAN NEVER SOLVE THE METRO MANILA TRAFFIC PROBLEM.
Marcial Ocampo

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