Chamber pitches solutions to traffic

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traffic bus

THE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION of the Philippines (MAP) has recommended readily available solutions to worsening traffic to the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

MAP in a statement on Thursday said that the association “begs the authorities to do something about the horrendous daily traffic in the metropolis.”

“The MAP is directly affected because the employees of its members [are] crying for a solution.”

The group said that the recommendations are its response to MMDA’s call for suggestions from the public.

MAP recommends improved enforcement of regulations and fines to compel private and public motorists to comply.

The association also posed several recommendations to improve the use of public utility vehicles (PUV). It urged authorities to maximize the use of PUVs to move commuters faster “in the absence of an efficient mass transport system.”

It wants authorities to designate stops for PUVs to quickly load and unload passengers and to declog bus lanes. It said PUVs should be allocated more lanes and be spared of number coding restriction during rush hours.

MAP also said that provincial buses should be given leeway to transport more commuters in less time.

Between rush hours, MAP said private vehicles should be allowed use of all lanes.

“Limit the number of PUVs on the road through a suggested, modified coding system in order to provide more space (and less congestion) to private vehicles during non-rush hours,” MAP said in the statement.

It also urged authorities to form a mobile task force to unclog choke points on critical routes.

“[People manning the] Central traffic control center must put to good use their CCTV system to closely monitor these problem areas and alert flying task force or assigned traffic personnel to quickly untangle them before traffic backup,” MAP said.

MAP estimated the cost of traffic congestion at about P3.4 billion for 13.4 million trips in 2019, translating to P250 per person per day — or 40% of the P600 daily minimum wage in Metro Manila.

In response to these recommendations, MMDA traffic operations chief Edison “Bong” Nebrija said that MMDA has been trying to isolate PUVs to move traffic quicker, but motorists have not been following the rules.

Sana ni-recommend nila magkadisiplina mga bus drivers (They should’ve recommended that bus drivers have more discipline). We know the plight of the commuters,” he said.

He said that he appreciates MAP’s recommendations, but added that the problem should be looked at more holistically. “‘Di lang empleyado nila nale-late (it’s not just their employees who become late) — that’s everyone’s concern anyway.”

Mr. Nebrija said that MAP should directly propose recommendations to MMDA and other agencies like the Department of Transportation.

“They recommend but do they have the numbers? How extensively did they study this to recommend this? Yes, we understand the plight of their employees and their business but recommendations need to be sound and holistic. We need to simulate it,” he said.

“Why don’t they sit down with us — set an appointment. They should write us a letter and make this formal.” — Jenina P. Ibañez