What Would The Streets of Manila Look Like Without Jeepneys?
Automologist HAROLD’s wish to phase out all jeepneys in the Philippines came true…just for awhile.
Any motorist in Manila stuck in traffic will curse like its president does. I have often wondered when I will ever drive on these streets so easily and swiftly without being stressed by horrendous traffic jams? And, lo and behold, like a miracle, on October 16 and 17, the streets of Manila were clear. And the reason was the two-day National Jeepney Strike. Wow, I wish the jeepneys will go on strike forever, so the streets will be forever “trafficless”.
This is a photo of EDSA Extension (Caloocan-Monumento area) during the strike. This one-kilometre stretch takes at least 30 minutes to traverse on a normal day, with all the undisciplined jeepneys around, but during the strike, it took me less than one minute. Fantastic!
Seriously, if we ban the jeepneys from the streets of Manila and replace them with proper mass transport (extensive train networks, proper bus service, proper river transport on cleaner Pasig river), the streets of Manila will look like this picture above.
While I sympathize with the regular jeepney passengers who were adversely affected by the strike, and also feel for the 400,000 drivers and their families who could lose their livelihood due to the phasing out of jeepneys, there is the discomfort of the 13 million people of Metro Manila and the additional P10 billion of fuel cost incurred per month due to traffic jams. Better for the government to phase out the jeepneys and give the jeepney drivers P300,000 each as start-up capital for a small-scale business. This is just the equivalent of one year’s additional fuel cost due to traffic congestion. How many billions have the Philippines lost in past years?
As they say, we need to swallow the “bitter pill” or “bite the bullet” if we are to solve a chronic problem.