THE MANILA BUS BAN
From a Commuter’s Point of View
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It has been some time since I last wrong something on my blog. I am on temporary leave on blogging latest phones due to my fund shortage and my Buy and Sell experience has been from bad to worst. Lately, I witnessed a huge ‘game-changing’ ban, and it was the No Bus Van on Manila. The moment I heard of this I immediately knew and predicted this would create more traffic than it aims to alleviate. Let me enumerate to you some of the things which the ban did BASED ON THE 1 WEEK OBSERVATION I HAD. Again, this is based on MY OBSERVATION. I am a Reviewee student on Espana Manila, from PERC DC, Panginoong Dimal’s Turf. I have classes every MWF and go to school every Thursday to review. I have classes in the morning, and every Monday, I come from Taft Avenue and the rest I tackle the Quezon Avenue and Espana Combo. The Bus Van heavily affects two road, Taft Avenue and Espana, buses U-turn around at Welcome Rotonda and buses from Gil Puyat are restricted from entering Taft unless they have bus terminal on Manila.
Probably the most annoying result of this ban was the drastic increase of greedy of Jeepney Drivers to the point all their disciplines, if any of them even have some, is blinded with the tons of commuters at the choke points. Figure 1 Shows Welcome Rotonda, The X Represents the choke points. You can observe that from Cubao, left side of Welcome, there is a choke point, this is where MOST, if not all, bus drivers stop. How annoying can this be? Not only is this the wrong place to load passengers, it is also on the middle of the Rotonda which causes not only stoppage on travelers from Cubao but also from Espana. In addition to the frustration, on the circle you can see MMDA officers, I don’t know if blind, stupid, or bribed by bus companies, just standing there, DOING NOTHING TO ALLEVIATE THE TRAFFIC.
Also from Figure 1, you can see two choke points from the right, as you can see there is a U-Turn spot nearby, how many Jeepney drivers have I seen forcing their way to the side just to get passengers from Unloading Buses. The first choke point is where buses unload and the second is for the greedy selfish jeepney drivers. The aforementioned U-turn slot occupies one lane, the second lane is where jeeps pushes their way to the third lane and the third lane is the choking point. The result is the clusterfuck of a traffic that spans up to Banawe, sometimes even to Santo Domingo. I know Jeepney drivers are just trying to maximize profit but for the Love of God, please don’t be inconsiderate greedy jerks.
Moving on from Espana, we come to the simple Figure 2, last Friday was the only time I had the chance to experience a bus free taft, and it was one of the fastest rides I had, though I did leave at noon so traffic maybe much lighter by then. Quiapo was still an undeniable choke point but it did not take me as long as before. The problem I had with Taft was this Monday, July 29. Normally, the buses I rode reach up to Park and Ride Lawton, it was no biggie for me to leave the bus from Gil Puyat but that was where I was wrong. The FX Terminal was now swarmed with passengers and Gil Puyat was very crowded. As seen from Figure 2, there is an unutilized part of the road which is also the choke point, caused by whom you ask? JEEPNEY DRIVERS. JEEPNEY DRIVERS WHO COULD NOT STOP AT DESIGNATED STOPS TO FILL THEIR JEEPNEYS. Ok ok I’m being too harsh on Jeepney drivers I will put the blame on the passengers also. Some passengers insist on riding even if it is not an optimal place to load and unload. I will go back to Jeepney drivers, if you are not so greedy and tell the passengers that this is not the right spot to ride or unload passengers will not be as keen to ride at those points. I can give you two examples as to where passengers are disclined. MAKATI and BINAN. I live in Laguna and I ride Jeepneys at Binan, Jeepney drivers there shout at passengers to go to designated Loading/Unloading areas. Makati is the best example for Loading and Unloading, try to unload on a loading spot and face the humiliation from the conductor, driver and the passengers. HEAVEN.
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Finally, probably the biggest drawback of this Bus Van would have to be the burden of the commuters of SM Fairview. With buses especially coming from UST, the seats are scarce as buses from Taft are filled from Taft, Quiapo and Morayta, can you imagine how hard it is for Thomasians or Espana commuters to go home now? FXs will surely be filled by the time they get to Espana as well as Jeepneys forcing SM Fairview commuters to take alternate route. You suggest more FX and Jeepneys? Are you seriously too naïve to suggest this? Not only does it defeat the purpose of alleviating traffic but it adds to it. One scenario where the bus will surely be missed will be on rainy days. Jeeps are too scared to ride with the wave but I’m pretty sure bus can endure the flood. What I think of this ban is a high-risk low reward move.
With all the disappointment I have with this Ban, I have to applaud a person for doing such a bold move, Mayor Jospeh Estrada. Sure it was a ridiculous move but it was a game-changing move, this is what we need for our country, bold moves to try and help the country to improve, when was the last Ban/Law which made drastic changes? No Wang-Wang policy? You must be kidding me. I don’t think Erap made this law to punish commuters, I think it was an honest effort to help alleviate traffic. Sadly, it had more cons and created more cons than he anticipated. I am not an Erap fan but I am a fan of politicians brave enough to rattle the status quo. Kudos to Erap! Now if only, my ONLY TAX-PAYER CAN VOTE dream can come true how nice could that be :> Hihihihihi.