Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mass Transportation

I'm not sure if this topic falls under consumer concerns. But I figured why not? Transportation is a part of our lives not only as consumers but as people living in a world that requires us to not remain in the same place all the time.

I believe this topic is also timely especially now that the operations of the Manila Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and the Manila Light Rail Transit (LRT) systems are in the news again.

If you haven't heard, the Department of Transportation and Communications has said that an increase in MRT and LRT fares is inevitable. Here's an excerpt of a report from the online version of the Manila Bulletin (www.mb.com.ph):

"The government can no longer continue subsidizing the fares. It now has to share the burden with the passengers. If we base the issue on the users' pay principle, the users who enjoy the facility will have to pay for the cost the facility needs to survive. This is just and fair," he said.
In Malacanang, President Aquino said Friday the government will likely reduce subsidies in the mass railway system in Metro Manila due to dwindling public funds.
The President said he is already studying a proposal to adjust the fares of the Metro Manila’s light railways at the level of commercial buses. At present, public utility buses plying Epifanio delos Santos Ave. (EDSA) charge their passengers higher fares compared to riding the MRT along the busy highway.
If you're anything like me you'd probably approve of this inevitable fare increase. Yes, it will hurt our pockets, but, if it will help improve the facilities of these two aging mass transport systems, I'm all for it.

Speaking of mass transport systems, do you realize that, contrary to popular notion, we need more buses not fewer. Of course I'm not talking about colorum buses but duly registered ones running under a disciplined and organized system. Something like this:

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