My proposed long term solution for the Manila’s severe traffic congestion is detailed below. This will be about buses and car registration.

The only typical reason why someone would bring a car to work is that there is no convenient way to go to work.

Traffic Problem

I live 7 kilometers from my office. It takes me around 1 hour and 15 minutes drive to work if I leave at around 6:15 AM. This travel could be done in just 30 minutes. If there is only a better choice, I will not be taking my car to work.

My luxurious alternative, if I am not bringing my car is to use Grab. My typical expense if I use Grab in the morning (6 AM) is 400 pesos to go to work. In a month, it is like 8,000 pesos just to go to office!!! I then use FX/van + Jeep to go home (60 per day) , all in all let us say I spend 10,000 pesos for my transpo if I do not use a car.

What will make a car owner like me to not use my car?

  1. Drop off point should be near (~100 meters)
  2. Minimal Vehicle Transfer
  3. Comfortable, Reliable and Consistent mode of Transportation

What I would envision is for a bus that passes along the gate of my village and drop me off at Makati along Paseo De Roxas near my work. It is ok for me to walk some 100+ meters. I don’t care how many stops the bus makes as long as I sit comfortably inside the bus.

The bus should stop at building entrances, gate of villages, intersections to pick up or drop off passengers. At most, there will be two bus transfers to reach any point within Metro Manila. Another bus transfer to reach the areas outside Metro Manila. Business districts will be connected by express bus routes. North, East, South and West will also have express bus routes connecting to business districts and major destinations.

Make the Bus the Primary Mode of Transportation

Right now, the first choice to commute here in Manila is by using private cars. Let us change that by putting more buses and making the ownership of cars more worth it.

Solution

  • Gradually fill Manila with more Buses
    • We need buses all around the city fetching passengers along road side and then going to the usual destinations like malls, offices, schools and transport stations.
    • Theses buses will act like shuttle transport. Picking up and dropping off passengers on key bus stops only.
    • The routes should be passenger demand driven and will not depend on fixed routes.
    • The goal is to fill the roads with fewer motor vehicles with the most commuters.
    • Bus drivers should adhere to the highest driving standards.
    • Buses will not be considered public bus or public transportation.
    • Buses will be allowed where school buses are allowed to go.
    • Traffic Enforcers will issue traffic violation tickets with video-clip to the agency and not to the driver.
    • It will be illegal for private cars to overtake these buses. If you are driving a car behind a bus, do not overtake.
    • Buses will be exempted from number coding scheme.
    • Students, senior citizens and PWDs are always free.
  • Increase the Cost of Owning A Car
    • One possible solution to this is to add on top of the car registration fee an Entitlement Fee (EF). This EF will be paid by private car owners every year. This should be a requirement when you register your car with LTO. EF comes with a free EF card which you can use to pay for the fare. EF card can have an initial credit and/or a fare discount.
    • This EF should be gradually increasing every year. The money collected shall be used to purchase, run the buses and pay for the bus drivers. Ex. 1000 for 1st year, 1500, 2000, 2500 for 4th year, each year.
    • Entitlement Fee will be paid in LTO but will be collected daily by the agency.
    • The agency will not be LTO or LTFRB or MMDA but a separate independent civilian+government entity audited by a private body.
    • According to LTO, in 2018, there are 6.2 million registered vehicles.

Expected Outcome

The results of this solution will not be felt during the first year. Expect that the traffic congestion will improve year after year. Gradually, the traffic problem will be solved.

Typical Use Case

  • BGC – Tiendesitas – Eastwood QC – All Day
    • Bus stops only at designated bus stops within these locations. Ex. bus drops passengers in front of mall entrances and not on a station that will require passengers to walk several hundreds of meters.
    • Buses leave on schedule, does not need to fill the bus with passengers.
  • Pasig – 6AM to 9AM – Mon to Fri – going to Ayala Makati via BGC
    • A bus will fetch passengers along C Raymundo Avenue. Bus stops at Sorento Oasis, Greenland Subd, Dona Juana, Hampton Gardens, Stella Mariz, Pag Asa, Kalinangan, Mercedez Ave, Pasig Rotonda and Bagong Ilog.
    • Drop Off Points will be on bus stops along BGC and Ayala Makati.
    • Buses arrive every 20 minutes during this rush hour.
    • Buses arrive every 1 hour on normal hours.