Safe, easy commute has become speculative fiction

04:02 AM October 14, 2019

Living, studying or working in the metro, you’ll realize that the daily commute has gone from a haggard activity to a hazard. Studies have shown that a number of health risks are caused by long commuting, from higher blood pressure to depression.

Many have to deal with the daily struggle of waking up three to five hours before their scheduled school or work, and still end up late. In addition, being stuck in traffic can sometimes cost us about P100,000 a year in lost income opportunities. We tire both our bodies and our minds, and barely have any time to recover.


These days, it is not a matter of leaving early. The problem is in the rotten transport system and traffic management. But then presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo cannot see those facts from his privileged vantage point. He called the challenge to try to commute in Manila a “silly one” (before he did try it and ended up four hours late for work), and even said that the daily sufferance of commuters and motorists traversing the metro’s roads to and from work is a given.

The reality for us daily commuters is knowing that even a 30-minute trip can stretch to several hours — and having no other choice but to accept it. People do not deserve this state of affairs, and our government is clearly not doing enough. The transport mess is no longer conducive to decent human living; imagining a safe, easy, good commute in Metro Manila has become a form of speculative and science fiction. Any reforms in the transport and traffic sectors must be based on the notion of moving people, not cars.


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