Tuesday, April 04, 2006



the plan, according to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is to reduce the number of Public Utility Buses (PUB’s) on EDSA by more than 50 percent by the end of the year. Here’s the backbone rationale of the proposal in plain numbers:

busses plying EDSA:
EDSA bus capacity:
busses with legit franchise:
Illegal busses, aka “Colorum”

they plan to reduce the busses to reduce traffic. holy mother of wayward logic Batman, the solution is so simple it scares the crap out of me. first, reducing the root cause of traffic, the vehicles, is not the answer. Them cars, jeeps and busses are there for a reason: for transportation. second, the argument that there are too many busses on the road is just plain absurd; I still find myself standing while riding the bus from time to time. if there is an oversupply, then fear the shortage with leg muscle pain dread.

THINK: A standard bus can carry an average of 62 seated passengers*; 73 if you consider the stand uppers, and close to a hundred when the bus to commuter ratio gets desperate. The space that a bus occupies on the road is less than the space consumed by three cars which in turn can only carry six passengers per vehicle. Do the math and you’ll see its 18 vs. 62; 3 cars are no match against a single bus in terms of the real purpose of these vehicles: to transport people.

but then consider: most cars or SUV’s on Metro Manila’s major roads carry one to three passengers on average. Busses aren’t always full yes, but they easily move around half laden with commuters. Do the math again and you’ll see that the bus still wins.

EDSA is congested, with the wrong vehicles.

Reducing the busses isn’t the answer. Removing private vehicles on the road that carry 3 or less passengers, now that’s a start. But then this suggestion pales in comparison against the best solution to our traffic problems: the strict enforcement of the law. I know, it’s easier said than done but then had everyone followed the road laws in the first place, had it been enforced strictly from the beginning; then the traffic problem would not be this bad. realize that band aid solutions such as reducing busses on the road wont do. I’ll bet my mommas army boots that should the 50 percent reduction push through, that there will still be traffic in EDSA. Maybe then, the LTFRB can move on to plan B: reduce the people commuting.

Bottom-line, busses are essential in the arterial blood movement of any metropolis. So are jeeps and tricycles. These vehicles power commerce. Reducing buses on EDSA would be a bad idea; making bus drivers disciplined and law abiding would be a better one.

*: 11 3-seater benches, 11 2-seater benches, a 6-seater end bench, and a stool next to the driver.

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