Transport in the Philippines, per se, is a complex issue to discuss.
An informal man-on-the-street survey with random passengers at the EDSA carousel as respondents, plainly asked "What is your opinion on transport?" The responses were as simple as "traffic", "mahirap" (difficult or tough) and "matagal" (it takes too long) referring to land transport, obviously.
Validating this, traversing end to end the longest — all of the 23.8-kilometer stretch — and most congested thoroughfare in the metropolis, within peak hours — from 7 to 9 a.m. and from 5 to 8 — took all of four hours. From Monumento in Caloocan up to the Mall of Asia in Pasay could leisurely be negotiated in an hour's time at most.
Respondents commonly suggested "better traffic management" and "better transport system" as the keys to improve traffic flow. With the volume of vehicles out in the streets at the same time, both recommendations are practicable although not very achievable presently.
A private car owner living in the central east part of Metro Manila realized that the new Skyway helps ease the traffic if he were to go farther north or south of the metropolis. However, getting to the entry ramp, even with the so-called "Mabuhay Lane", is complicated with the same volume of traffic everywhere. He also commended the opening of the EDSA Carousel system but expressed "it is not senior-friendly and not usable for persons with disability". "That was developed for the fit and healthy" considering the flight of stairs to deal with.
More vehicles on the road is not a bad thing. It is also a sign of economic progress and that the quality of life of the populace have somehow improved. On the other hand, it may not be friendly to the environment, though, with the amount of carbon dioxide emissions put together.
Scrutinizing significant problems in transport systems, these are caused by the hastened urbanization. Owning more than one vehicle in a family becomes their only way to practical mobility instead of benefiting from the government-set transport services.
While some respondent-commuters sneered at private vehicle owners as the cause of traffic, as a resolve, they suggested "other arteries". Significantly, one mentioned an "elevated EDSA" with reservations "pero baka mahal ang toll" (toll fees might be prohibitive).
Some described the proposal to build elevated expressways on EDSA and C5 as dystopian. Yes, EDSA and C5 traffic flow situations are nightmarish. Imagine the considerable ease in traffic with the choice of thoroughfares to negotiate?
Smart mobility is the key as it is relevant and timely. Its complexity may not yet be within the fancy of common commuters. In due time, the new infrastructure would be a picture of ease, reliability and safety that leads transport system to the right direction.
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