As I See It

Putting up bus terminal at Trinoma a bad idea

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Out of curiosity, I went to the provincial-bus terminal in Parañaque on its opening day and, as is usual in such cases, there were opening-day blues. The whole place was in confusion. Arriving passengers from Cavite and Batangas didn’t know where to get their connecting buses to Manila. When they did find out, they had to walk a long distance to get there with all their bulky and heavy cargo. (Who is the passenger from the province who does not have heavy cargo?) Pity the senior citizens and the disabled.

And when they did get there, they had a difficult time finding rides to the inner cities. There were very few city buses, jeepneys and taxicabs waiting to take them to their destinations. Where were the huge city buses clogging Edsa with very few passengers? And it was “every jeepney driver for himself” in the loading zones. I think the Metro Manila Development Authority was so focused on the provincial buses that it forgot to make sure there were enough city buses there for the city-bound passengers.

As I see it, the first mistake was in the choice of the site for the terminal: near the Coastal Mall and the Mall of Asia. Because of the hordes of shoppers going to the malls and the hotels and casinos in the area, the only two streets leading to them are crammed with vehicles. Add giant provincial and city buses to these vehicles and you have a traffic gridlock.

A terminal for provincial buses should be set up outside city limits, where there is plenty of space,  di  ba?  Provincial buses should stay in the provinces and city buses should stay in the cities.

This is why the MMDA should not go through with its plan to make Trinoma shopping mall in Quezon City as the terminal for buses coming from the north. At present, all the streets going to Trinoma (Edsa, and North, Mindanao, Visayas, and Quezon avenues, and Quezon Memorial Circle) are clogged with vehicles because of the three shopping malls there (Trinoma, SM North Edsa and The Block). Add thousands of provincial and city buses to the mix and you will have bedlam.

In trying to solve the traffic gridlock on Edsa, the MMDA is going to create a worse gridlock on several other streets. Pity the residents of subdivisions in the area who will be marooned in their homes by the thousands of vehicles blocking the roads in and out of their homes.

The terminal for provincial buses coming from the north should be located just after the toll booths of NLEx in Balintawak (or before it, where there is plenty of space).

As for the long distance that passengers have to walk to change buses, Chicago’s O’Hare Airport solved a similar problem through “walking sidewalks” that connect the international terminal to the domestic terminal. Passengers needing to change planes can just step on these sidewalks, which will “walk” them to the domestic terminal or vice versa. Maybe the MMDA should study this idea’s feasibility in its own bus terminals.

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Former squatters along the San Juan River are overjoyed at their brand-new homes in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, where they have been relocated without the violence that attended previous relocations. The hollow-block-and-galvanized-iron houses built for them by the National Housing Authority are neatly lined up on paved streets with plenty of open space and fresh air all around, unlike the cramped and unsanitary shanties along the riverbanks where they used to live miserable lives.

The village is situated on high ground so the residents are safe from the floods that they had to endure every rainy season at the San Juan River.

Each unit is tall enough to have a loft or a second floor, if the occupants so desire. They can also paint it any color they wish, and build cabinets, shelves and closets the way they want them.

The village will soon have a school for children. It will soon have electricity and water connections. Livelihood training and projects have been lined up to give the residents jobs. Tesda is planning to set up training centers.

Besides the brand-new houses that the residents will own after 30 years of paying only P200 a month, the families were each given P18,000 to tide them over the adjustment period.

Before they were relocated, the squatters were taken to the relocation site and allowed to choose their units. When they left, they already knew what units they will occupy and eventually own.

Now the squatters left at the San Juan River are eager to be relocated themselves.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, who visited the Inquirer offices one night last week to brief its editors, columnists, and reporters on their plans for the squatters, said those who do not want to be relocated to faraway places can choose in-city relocation. But they will have to organize themselves into groups, choose the site for a five-story condo building, and hire their own architects, engineers and contractors to design and construct the building. The government will lend them the money to buy the land and construct the building, which loan they will pay on installment without interest within 30 years. They cannot sell the rights to their units. If they move out, the government will award the unit to another family in the waiting list.

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KAPIHAN NOTES: The guests at Monday’s Kapihan sa Manila at the Diamond Hotel are brand-new senators Nancy Binay and JV Ejercito, members of political dynasties in Makati and San Juan (and Manila), respectively.

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  • Fulpol

    to put all buses in one place is also a bad idea.. not only the traffic concern but also the safety of passengers..

    airports have strict procedures and rules in managing the area.. how about the bus terminal, provincial buses terminal in one?? that is difficult to manage.. hundreds of buses, how can you monitor the safety of these buses? one high explosive bomb can kill hundreds if not thousands in just a single blow.. or there is a possibility of quick spread of fire among buses..

    the best idea is MAKING A DEMARCATION LINE in the south side and the north side of the metro wherein bus operators can put up their own terminals.. bus operators who can afford to put up their own terminals are encourage as long as their terminal will not be put up beyond the demarcation line or border line or limit line..

    example: all buses going north are not allowed to have terminal beyond Cubao, Quezon City or Monumento, Caloocan.. what is the demarcation line in the north? line travelling or running from monumento to cubao.. beyond that line is not permitted.. south bound: Paranaque.. a line travelling from Coastal Mall, Paranaque to Bicutan or Sucat Paranaque.. beyond that demarcation line is not permitted.. north bound buses are more encourage to have their terminal farther north from demarcation line while south bound buses are more encourage to have their terminal farther south from the demarcation line…

    the benefits of this idea: reduce traffic because you spread buses by using many routes and roads.. spread the risk of harm and lost of property by not putting all the eggs in one basket..

    MMDA should revised their planning scheme.. bad idea in putting all buses in one…

    • les21reago

      Terrific good idea…SAFETY consideration a must…And let us call it BUSPORTS…Have contraband SCANNERS on baggage/luggage…The same on SEAPORTS and AIRPORTS safety precautions as you mentioned.

  • symonwho

    Provincial buses should feed to the LRT/MRT systems and terminals should be an adjucnt of the train stations.

  • hustlergalore

    before trinoma was built. it was supposed to be a terminal. that was the original plan. because of its proximity to the train. perhaps greed came along! and now putting a terminal there is now a bad idea. a mall! yeah right!

  • NegaStarr

    Don’t touch trinoma is neal cruz’s message. his previous columns dwelled on Globe. Ayala na naman ang beneficiary ng column na to. So, magkano ba talaga?

    • hustlergalore

      kaya pala! LOL

  • AlzheimersC

    Total ban of buses on Edsa is a very bad idea…We all know that officetime and schooltime starts from 7-8 am…in an 8 hrs. work, you can’t go to work at 9 am or 10 am or 11 am and get out of office at 5 pm at 6 pm or at 7 pm respectively.

    So that means Manila transport system simply can’t absorb the influx of passengers at this particular daytime.

    Besides why the need to stop these provincial buses from bringing these workers and students to their destination within metro Manila when you just have to transfer them to another transport system?

    Manila buses were made available to people who commute and resides within metro Manila so that means these Manila buses are “preoccupied” to serve metro Manilans, isn’t it? So that means also that the influx of passengers from the neighboring provinces north and south are not their “priority” so that’s why the sudden rush of these huge volume of passengers displaced by the provincial buses does make metro manila transport system inadequate to bring these “valuable” passengers on TIME!

    If we want to decongest metro manila, I think banning of private cars from 5 am to 9-10 am will do…then after that they could enforce total ban of buses after 10 am.

    Well if they want to impose another banning of private cars from 5 pm to 8 pm to enter metro manila north or south it will be much better for everyone. Let car owners walk a little BIT :) to choose their own public transport to bring them to their destination.

    LGUs and similar gov’t officials should be given priority with special car plates to enter metro manila.

  • RyanE

    I’m not an expert on city planning, but I suspect some influential people or companies have a hand in determining where to locate malls, bus terminals, MRT stations and even airports. These influential people with their cohorts in the LGUs are actually looking after their own interests, not that of the public.

    • John Sohntos

      Kaya ng siguro hindi pa mapagdugtong ang north avenue station at munoz station dahil sa interes ni Henry Sy? Panahon na para pagdugtungin ito.

  • tarikan

    It might have been okay to have built clusters of 3 to 4 storey buildings as relocation units for the squatters. Space savers. One level, row units occupy relatively more space than the medium high rise buildings. Why the government planners did not think of it? Look at Singapore. The only detached houses they have are for high government officials. They have enough space for gardens/parks/sports facilities in every community.

  • TGM_ERICK

    I am for the plan of making some squatted lands here in the metro be built with high rise buildings for the squatters who don’t want to be relocated. I had experinced the difficulty of owning a house and lot through NHS mortgage which far away here from the city where i used to work. It took a great toll on my budget and health . The commuting made me experience a once a month burnt out.

  • http://nasalayasan.blogspot.com/ David Correa

    “When they did find out, they had to walk a long distance to get there with all their bulky and heavy cargo. (Who is the passenger from the province who does not have heavy cargo?)”

    This writer once again shows his Metro Manila-centric ignorance. He thinks all provincial bus passengers bring big boxes with vegetables and crowing roosters. For your information Mr. Neal Cruz, the bulk of passengers coming from nearby provinces are students and workers. And about placing the provincial bus terminals outside city limits, I think this borders more on imposing a class distinction between city dwellers and provincial bus passengers. The location of the bus terminals is only secondary, the primary consideration is the availability of interchange options for passenger movement and adequate land area for unhindered bus maneuvers.

  • John Sohntos

    As for the long distance that passengers have to walk to change buses, Chicago’s O’Hare Airport solved a similar problem through “walking sidewalks” that connect the international terminal to the domestic terminal. Passengers needing to change planes can just step on these sidewalks, which will “walk” them to the domestic terminal or vice versa. Maybe the MMDA should study this idea’s feasibility in its own bus terminals.

    Wala namang problema kung maglalakad nang malayo. Exercise pa nga yun. Although masarap maglakad kung ang lalakaran mo ay free of sidewalk vendors and lubak lubak na sidewalk. That’s why nakakainis maglakad papuntang sakayan ng bus pagbaba mo ng MRT North Avenue station dahil sa dami ng sidewalk vendors na meron pang halos doon na nakatira.

    KAILAN KAYA PAGTUTUUNAN NG PANSIN NG MMDA AT NG MGA LGU ANG PROBLEMANG ITO? HINDI TAYO UMUUNLAD KUNG ANG NAKIKITA NATIN AY ANG PAGDAMI NG BILANG NG MGA SIDEWALK VENDORS. KUNG MERONG VEHICULAR TRAFFIC MERON DIN PONG PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC. PAGING CHAIRMAN TOLENTINO. SANA ITO NAMAN ANG SUSUNOD NA PAGTUUNAN NYO NG PANSIN

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