DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Davao City’s point-to-point (P2P) bus system will never solve the problem of traffic congestion and the shortage of public transportation during rush hours.
This was the position of militant transport group TRANSMISION-PISTON who said the P2P bus system implementation next month is the first step to phase out Public Utility Jeepney (PUJ) and facilitate the entry of private companies to control public transportation.
TRANSMISION-PISTON Secretary General Ricardo Baron said the new transportation system will reduce the incomes of drivers and operators.
On Tuesday’s Pulong-Pulong ni Pulong press conference, City Councilor Conrado Baluran said the city government eyes to field the first 45 air-conditioned P2P buses in five areas in the city going downtown next month after the City 18th council’s approval.
The first five proposed route will start from Catalunan Grande to Ma-a via Diversion Road; second route, from Mintal to Bangkal drop-off point, to SM City drop-off point in Ecoland, to San Pedro St. drop-off point, to Bankerohan, to Matina, and then back to Mintal; third route, from Cabantian, to Buhangin, and to Agdao via Cabaguio; fourth route, from Ma-a to Buhangin via Diversion Road; and fifth route, from Toril to Ulas drop-off point, to Matina crossing drop-off point, to Matina Aplaya, to SM City Ecoland, to Matina Crossing, and then back to Toril.
Baluran who is the chair of the city council’s committee on transportation and communication said the five P2P bus system is a prelude to the public transport modernization in the city.
According to TRANSMISION-PISTON, one of the main solutions to the problem cited by Baluran is to identify and assess areas in the city lacking PUJ under the Land Transportation and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Route Measure Capacity (RMC).
Baron said that the result of the RMC should be the basis to open new city routes for PUJ.
According to Baluran, the ultimate aim in modernizing the transport system is to get the private car owners to utilize the system, which the Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded through the High Priority Bus System (HPBS) where modern buses would be deployed to the streets.
The HPBS, also called as the Davao Public Transport Modernization Project, has a total budget of $70 million or P3.644 billion.
Even as Baluran said that the bus service system is not intended to compete with jeepney drivers plying the existing routes, the TRANSMISION-PISTON is now conducting its own dialogue with its members and other transport organization to come up an effort opposing the city’s P2P bus system implementation next month. (davaotoday.com)