I recently watched MMDA Officer-In-Charge Atty. Emerson Carlos over DZMM TeleRadyo talk about some of the priority solutions for the worsening traffic congestion problem in Metro Manila, specially EDSA. His No. 1 proposal is basically to make buses plying the routes more efficient or “quicker” in order to encourage a shift in attitude of sole occupants of motor vehicles to become public transport users – a bus with 50 riders spares the road of potentially 50 vehicles with solo occupants. This is true, but it is only one of the necessary measures or a “band aid” solution to the long-term problem of maintaining an efficient mass transport system.

LRT and MRT systems should still be the priority concern of the new administration, fixing the existing infrastructure first before going through with the expansions (to neighboring provinces) – more people still rely on these operational units and are suffering daily due to long overdue fixes. These rail systems, when performing optimally and efficiently, will bring the hundreds of thousands of daily commuters faster and more conveniently than buses to their destinations.

“UV Express” or van shuttle services that carry 12-18 passengers per trip, are also effective means of mitigating the congestion on the other two mass transport options and should be priority solution No. 3. Plus, “UV Express” or van shuttle services are the most convenient, too. They save thousands of commuters the hassle of taking 3-4 transfers on their way to and from work and currently beats the time and effort that it takes if it were LRT/MRT or buses that they took. I have a brother, who has been working in Makati for over 15-years and who uses this mode of transportation, who can attest to this. I’ve also tried it myself daily for the last four weeks. The “UV Express” or van shuttle service concept is synonymous with “car-pooling” (in steroids!) and therefore should be encouraged and promoted though quick and easy (but rigorous) processing of franchise applications.

(This is an addendum to my previous article here titled “Long-overdue fixes for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) systems: HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS ARE SUFFERING DAILY”)