Improve mass transportation to address traffic woes
To MMDA and the DOTr:
Use road pricing to reduce vehicle load in Edsa, and don’t ban provincial buses because that will affect ordinary commuters, especially those with cargo not allowed on city buses, not to mention the dagdag pamasahe (additional fare) and inconvenience of bus transfers.
That is, impose additional toll fees at NLEx and SLEx for all vehicles entering Metro Manila; charge additional 50 percent from 6–9 a.m. and 3-8 p.m.; and 25 percent from 9:01 a.m. to 2:59 p.m. (except Sundays and holidays). Additional toll fees should go to government coffers.
This proposal uses microeconomics to adjust demand for roads vs supply of road spaces, as successfully seen in certain cities abroad.
Buses plying Edsa account for only 20 percent of total vehicles against 80 percent of private vehicles. Thus, a ban on provincial buses in Metro Manila will be at the expense of society’s equity objective — another government failure!
Moreover, mass transportation (big buses and railways first, not the super expensive subway that is prone to terror attacks, flooding and earthquakes) is the way to go, not jeepney modernization.
ROGELIO V. PAGLOMUTAN
Mapua Institute of Technology
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