Editorial | Searching for options

Grumbling about the traffic situation in the city due to the many road works currently being done has become a regular topic of conversation everywhere.

People usually end up hoping that we will not be in the same shoes as those unfortunate commuters in Metro Manila whose lives are constantly caught in a traffic jam, so to speak.

Mono rails, mega buses and two-decker buses are some of the suggestions bandied around to prepare for the future’s traffic situation. These modes of transportation are said to complement the opening of the coastal road and new road networks that cut through the city without passing the busy downtown area.

Apart from the construction of the bridge linking the city to Samal island, which, by the way has been gracing the headlines since 1979, we have not heard of plans for constructing flyovers. Flyovers do not actually solve the traffic problem. Building one is very costly and these structures only encourage more private vehicles to be on the road.

Without doubt, there are more private vehicles on the road as compared to public transport. The challenge is to provide a system that will encourage those who are driving their own vehicles to use public transport.

Having a mass transport system will also solve the headache of drivers on where to park especially within the downtown area. The city estimates that there are 80 percent private vehicles on the road while the rest are public transport, trucks and vans.

A mass transport system that is comfortable and safe was already in the purview of the city government since last year. Already, negotiations are done with bus companies to test the efficiency of the high priority bus system including adjustments in policies that will support the smooth transition from the present PUJ system.

This way, we can improve the quality of life of our citizens as they have more time for their families and for rest and recreation, at the same time help in decreasing carbon emissions and keep our air clean.

Posted in Opinion