Fix­ing the jeep­ney mess

Manila Times - - FRONT PAGE - BY BEN KRITZ

AS I try to stress ev­ery time the sub grid­lock and the in­ad­e­quate and inef that is the chief cause of conges­tion is much big­ger than any­one seems the system – cur­rently, the fo­cus is on jeep­neys – nec­es­sar­ily re­quires ac­tion in many other ar­eas in or­der for the - pen, the com­part­men­tal­ized na­ture of gov­ern­ment pol­icy and process be­ing what it is, which is why noth­ing seems to work, and ex­pec­ta­tions for an­nounced “so­lu­tions” are cyn­i­cally low.

The gov­ern­ment’s mod­ern­iza­tion pro­gram for jeep­neys is ba­si­cally a good idea: Jeep­neys that re­moved from pub­lic ser­vice, and some ac­com­mo­da­tion will be of­fered—although de­tails are a bit fuzzy, this will likely be in the form of low-cost loans or other fi­nan­cial sup­port— to jeep­ney own­ers to re­place the old units with ei­ther elec­tric units or con­ven­tional ve­hi­cles with more up

That pro­gram, how­ever, only ad­dresses the ve­hi­cle com­po­nent of the big­ger prob­lem, and even though the in­di­vid­ual ve­hi­cles will be an im­prove­ment, in a way it makes the over­all prob­lem worse, be­cause there will be fewer jeep­neys; not all those to be de­com­mis­sioned will be mod­ern­iza­tion pro­gram to have a last­ing pos­i­tive im­pact on the coun­try’s trans­porta­tion en­vi­ron­ment, much more has to be

One of the most chal­leng­ing is­sues is the mind­set of the pop­u­la­tion, which is lazily ac­cus­tomed to - ing to walk a block or two to reach a trans­porta­tion line is con­sid­ered per­fectly nor­mal in places where pub­lic tran­sit works ef­fec­tively, and in the Philip­pines’ gen­er­ally friendly cli­mate, should not be con­sid­ered a hard­ship for most peo­ple in com­mon, how­ever, is a more pedes­trian-friendly en­vi­ron­ment— ac­tual side­walks, which are not clogged with itin­er­ant ven­dors, used as park­ing space, or con­sid­ered part

An­other thorny is­sue that must be re­solved is the per­sis­tence of the “bound­ary system” for jeep­neys (and buses as well), de­spite gen­eral ac­knowl­edge­ment that it is op­pres­sive to trans­port work­ers and con­trib­utes to dan­ger­ous be­hav­ior, and re­peated at­tempts to legally put an end to es­sen­tially a per diem lease of the ve­hi­cle that treats driv­ers and helpers as in­de­pen­dent con­trac­tors rather than em­ploy­ees, is com­mon in taxi It works for taxis (although even here it has its de­trac­tors) be­cause taxis do there are looser lim­i­ta­tions on what a -

Elim­i­nat­ing the bound­ary system, in par­tic­u­lar, will al­low for bet­ter man­age­ment of jeep­ney routes, which should fo­cus on three things: Shifting jeep­ney routes away from those that are cov­ered by other forms of trans­porta­tion (light rail or bus), routes, and run­ning the jeep­neys jeep­neys could be dis­patched from the ter­mi­nal end of a route ev­ery two min­utes, whether or not

A great deal of at­ten­tion should be di­rected to­ward the reg­u­la­tion of - tation Fran­chis­ing and Reg­u­la­tory Board (LTFRB) is ap­pallingly in­ef­fec­tive—but it should be em­pha­sized that this is by de­sign, rather than the fault of the per­son­nel man­ning the sub­jected to much closer over­sight and stricter re­quire­ments that are not im­posed or are in­con­sis­tently things in which reg­u­la­tion is lack­ing or com­pletely non-ex­is­tent now in­clude ve­hi­cle safety and emis­sions in­spec­tion; driver train­ing and com­pe­tence; and ra­tio­nal­iza­tion of fran­chises, to en­sure that sup­ply of jeep­neys in par­tic­u­lar ar­eas rea­son­ably matches pas­sen­ger de­mand, both to pro­vide adequate ser­vice for the pub­lic and give jeep­ney op­er­a­tors a fair chance to

The sug­ges­tions are sum­mary in na­ture; the de­tails of each of them are nu­mer­ous and com­plex, and will take a long time to com­pletely and in that sense per­haps, im­pos­ing the mod­ern­iza­tion pro­gram is a good first step, so long as the gov­ern­ment does so with the un­der­stand­ing that it is just one

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