On wednesday afternoon, i spent 3 hours going to las pinas from pasig and another 3 hours coming back. i used only two vehicles and had to wait only a minute for a bus or jeepney at each junctior. The distance traveled was only about 20 kilometers each way. i can hardly imagine how horrible it would be to be poor and have to depend on public transportation to get across or around the city each day.
The problem of transport here in Manila is almost endemic throughout the country. I don’t know if poor planning or bad politics has led to the developments of roads and rail in the country of the Philippines more than any other colonial or post-colonial factors. However, I do know the country is not going to development until infrastructure of roads in all parts of the country are not improved greatly.–kas
The transportation system in Metro Manila is not exactly the best in the world. Not even close. When tourists talk about leaving Manila for the provinces immediately, this is primarily because of the big-city atmosphere in Manila, which you can experience elsewhere. Manila’s big-city atmosphere is even worse because of the not-so-desirable traffic situation in the country’s capital.
I live about 30 kilometers away from the office. During around midnight, when I get home after a weekend night out with friends in Makati, I ride taxi and get home in just about 30 minutes. In contrast, during rush hour, I spend about 2 hours (sometimes even longer) inside a bus. That’s 4 times the hassle! When you have to be at the office at around 9 in the morning, waking up at 6 in the morning is already the norm.
Rapid development that outpace the improvement of the transportation system is often pointed as the cause of this terrible traffic situation. During the day, the city’s population swell to about 20 million people, with many of them working in the business districts of Ortigas and Makati. With only the EDSA highway as the primary thoroughfare to reach these areas, every single morning is pandemonium for regular commuters.
Efforts have already been done to somehow stave the effects of the bad traffic condition. There’s the Metro Railway Transit (MRT), a lightrail system plying the EDSA highway. It’s cheap, fast and, well, congested. I avoid this like the plague because it is so unpredictable. On some days it’s easy to get on, but during most days it will take you an hour to get inside because there’s just too many people. Construction projects are also ongoing to create more railway lines connecting the business districts to the rest of the metropolis.
Then there’s the proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system along C5 highway and along Ayala Avenue. Following the model of the BRT in Brazil, these bus systems are projected to mimic the effects of the MRT without spending as much. Plans were revealed just early this year so we don’t have too many updates yet on how the feasibility studies are pushing.
These transportation projects sound promising, but will their effects actually be similar to what is projected? In my opinion, this is not just a matter of adding new train lines or bus lines. There is a serious problem with overdevelopment and congesting the metro with people. If development will be only spread to the countryside, we will see less people migrating to Manila to get a better life. Spreading the wealth is the key to solve the traffic problem.
You can talk about… Metro Manila’s Heavy Headache