The long lines of commuters in almost all stations of LRT and MRT and bus stations along EDSA are growing longer and longer every day – and to think that we are getting closer to the so-called Christmas rush.
Many of us have experienced how to fall in line just to board a rail or a bus, and it is really an ordeal one has to endure in order to go from one place to another – or simply go to and from the office.
Those with vehicles who are scrimping due to the high cost of gasoline/ diesel and parking fees, and also to avoid the monstrous traffic in the metropolis, are now choosing mass transportation rather than bring them to their work.
However, there is a big price to pay. While you can save on transport costs, you need to endure the long lines in order to board a public transport or barge your way to the cramped spaces inside; before you can reach your office or your appointment, expect crumpled or sweaty clothes. Additionally, carrying large and unnecessary baggage is very hard and not advisable.
The biggest problem is for those seniors who could hardly walk a mile, walk up the high stairs, or simply stand for a long time aboard the train or bus. They are the most vulnerable ones and those who have to endure the most from this transport problem.
Our transport problem is not an isolated one. This is also being experienced by commuters in many major cities in the world. We have seen how the commuters in India, Japan, Thailand, US and many others grappled with their everyday commute using public transports.
Yet one key strategy being implemented in most of them is the quick reactions by the operators of these trains or buses to every situation at hand. During rush hours, trains are being released almost one after the other in order to transport the large volume of people to their destinations as quickly as possible. So are the buses that you seldom see during non-rush hours.
Here in Manila, rail trains have the same long intervals in arriving to the stations even it is already considered as “rush hour” as stations are already teeming with commuters, resulting to long lines down to the streets below. If only they can shorten the intervals of arrivals of trains in various stations and also monitor them to foresee the influx at peak times, these problematic long lines of train commuters could soon be mended at the very least.
Too many buses need not be on the long stretches of EDSA all day long. You can still see many of them clogging the bus stops waiting for a trickle of commuters during non-rush hours. They need to be taken off the streets and put into wise use or locations. They should get out and serve the growing commuters on the road at least one to two hours before the “rush hours” to avoid the big volume of commuters by that time. It should really be a proactive drive rather than a reactive rush.
If only our transport officials could come up with and act on additional solutions that don’t even need “rocket scientists,” you, and maybe all of us, would choose to “go public” in all our everyday commuting lives.