The Metro`s Great Bus Problem

Metro Manila has always been infected by a great plague, a plague of buses which has clogged the streets of the Metro and which is one of the main reasons for the inefficiency and inconvenience brought about by driving in its streets. Any clogging of the road is understandable, especially during rush hour, even the cities of the U.S. experience this, but what the problem is that the situation of the Metro could be significantly improved if proper attention is given to matter. An example of how buses really clog up the metro is how the traffic in the city of Manila significantly improved after the city hall ordered a bus ban, just saying.

This is not an argument to say that the government or anything at its disposal should act or is not acting to make all our lives better, in fact it is the government specifically the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) who has tried and is still trying to find a miracle solution in order to solve this problem. This problem is just one of the effects of the lack of a master urban design of the metropolis, which I also blogged about, and that this is a problem which should be solved by the whole metropolis as well. The problem does not lie, in this writers opinion, at the metro`s traffic scheme or any of that sort but at the discipline and lack of interest towards the problem. One of the main issues is the over-licensing of buses due to the fact that most of those who own them are people of influence and those who can get pass the system, lack of disciple. Another would be that passengers themselves think of only of their interests and have buses stop at anytime they want than stopping at a proper bus stop, to which some of the drivers also fall for the blame for not staying in the proper lanes. From traffic enforcers, drivers, commuters and officials, it must be everyone`s responsibility to take action towards this problem.

Another issue of lack of interest is how each municipality and each city take their area as only their responsibility. The bus ban of Manila significantly improved traffic within the city, but in the city alone, with buses finding different routes, the adjacent cities experienced increased traffic and of course stress. Every city of the metropolis must act as one because this is a problem OF THE ENTIRE METROPOLIS and not just of one city.

Numerous actions are now being enacted which sees the Metropolis as a whole, specifically the centralized bus stations, which aims to correct the entire scheme of things and perhaps a start to make up a centralized plan. All that is needed is the cooperation, the will and the interest of every person in the metropolis in order to enact a change for the better, because true and permanent change only happens if the people want it in which in the end it is up to every one of us to enact the change we want.

The reason why the blog post is about buses despite the numerous problems of the metropolis is that this problem clearly defines/shows how the metropolis in itself is not acting as one. With simple problems such as bus routes or traffic schemes, each city is still acting on their own interest without thinking about the entire metropolis itself. In the end, it is all under one roof, and with a place as dense as this, every action of once city has a great impact to another. In order to see improvement or a solution to the Metro`s great bus problem, the metropolis must act as one, with one interest, with one set of goals and with one set of actions with every city working together for the good of the many.

– Miguel Rey M. Ramos, 2012-30997

5 thoughts on “The Metro`s Great Bus Problem

  1. I really agree with this article. I myself rides a bus every time I go home, and as a commuter it really stresses me out (especially during rush hour). I think, the MMDA has somewhat done its part by implementing bus & traffic rules. It is really the traffic enforcers, bus drivers and passengers that need to take REAL action. Also, bus drivers think they are the ‘king of the streets’, driving big buses and loading & unloading passengers whenever they want to. I really hope that the transportation system here in the Philippines really improve in the near future.

  2. You know what would be good? Simply Bus stops. I mean Buses simply stop at the sight of a possible passenger whenever the bus can STILL hold more people. and the fact that they don’t even go in their respective lane. Another that has always been on my mind, Why can’t we have just one, either buses or jeeps? I mean both are modes of transportation, both can travel long distances. I mean are people really lazy that they need both? Don’t we have the tricycles for that?

  3. I really think that the centralized bus station would make a big change in the congestion and efficiency of traffic. Although, some people still complain that the bus ban is causing a great ordeal to people as it causes them to spend more than they could have if it weren’t for the bus ban. I think for the improvement of the whole traffic scheme in the city, sacrifices should be made and this transitory change is something we all need to undergo because this is for the betterment of the whole city and fixing this traffic problem will enable people to be more productive and this will also lessen pollution in our society.

  4. It’s nice that you point out that passengers contribute to the problem as well. It’s easy to point the blame on the driver because he does control the vehicle but a lot people are very undisciplined when it comes to alighting said public utility vehicles, often choosing to go down in a middle of a busy street just because they don’t want to walk.

  5. I agree with you. I think the cities are acting in their own self-interests, which contrary to what we are used to in Econ, tends to hurt other cities. A good example is how Makati City managed to ban any MMDA officers from the area and have a force of their own. Here we see two administrations doing the same mandate, which could be conflicting. If it were left to MMDA, the entire metro would have a consistent spread of policy. And consistency is what makes up a good metropolis.

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