A holistic approach to transpo woes

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    The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) has submitted a whole range of recommendations that would improve transportation services in Metro Manila immediately and even beyond the pandemic.

    In a letter to Arthur Tugade, secretary of the Department of Transportation, the MAP said transportation should be taken as a holistic system where public transportation and private vehicles can address the needs of Filipinos.

    Following strict health protocols, buses, jeepneys and rail transit as key public transportation can co-exist, MAP said.

    MAP said buses should have dedicated lanes and scheduled runs using center islands along EDSA as hubs.

    “A holistic approach requires that improvements to public transportation along EDSA should also result in improvements along the major feeders roads to EDSA in Pasay, Makati, Mandaluyong, Quezon City and Caloocan – some examples are Quezon boulevard and Commonwealth avenue,” the MAP said.

    Acknowledging jeepneys as necessary to meet Metro Manila transport demand, MAP said these should be deployed by consortia — one consortium per route and one franchise per route or consortium similar to the system for buses. .

    The group said the three light railway systems and the Philippine National Railway should be allowed to operate at a 50 percent load factor just like the other forms of public transportation.

    It said this would further facilitate the seamless flow of passengers from the rail system to the buses and jeepneys while also ensuring that all health protocols are strictly enforced and followed.

    Over the medium term, MAP suggests the imposition of congestion pricing and its attendant equipment requirement and pricing structure on private vehicles to manage congestion in business centers and chokepoints in Metro Manila.

    The MAP Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has sought for a stronger mandate for the Metro Manila Development Authority by amending its charter to give the agency more powers on basic services in the National Capital Region (NCR) to ensure consistency of policies and enforcement across the 17 local government units in the region.

    “The transport system should be treated as a system,” said MAP which also recommended major feeder roads to EDSA, clearing of sidewalks and illegal structures as well as the creation of road transport corridors by incorporating walking and bicycle lanes.

    The MAP suggests the continuous and regular use of the Pasig River from Pateros to Binondo (and back) as part of the water transport system and the maximization of a rail transport system-linked to Divisoria and to the MRT System;.

    MAP said cargo could be dropped off in Clark in the north for transport via rail directly to the Divisoria station. Passengers could also be encouraged to take the train from Clark to transfer to MRT stations that would serve as a hub and spoke system.

    A similar approach could be taken for goods coming from the south, namely, a drop-off station in either Calamba or Alabang for both cargo and passengers.