Sunday, August 21, 2016

Transport Econ 17, On banning provincial buses in Edsa

Remember Isaac Newton's 3rd law of motion: For every action, there is an equal, opposite reaction. Apply in society: For every government intervention and prohibition, there is an equal opposite distortion.

This news was reported last August 13, 2016. If government implements this, there will be MORE traffic congestion, not less, on Edsa and rest of M. Manila. Why?

Because many of those probinsyanos/syanas who ride the provincial buses are car owners. They leave their cars in Pampanga, Tarlac, Bulacan, Pangasinan, Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, etc. when they go to Manila because it is more convenient, more time-saving to ride the buses. Now remove the provincial buses in Edsa, transpo going to Manila will be more inconvenient, take multiple rides, more time consuming, more costly. Solution: drive their cars or motorcycles from the province.

About three years ago, MMDA's former Chairman Francis Tolentino banned buses from Cavite, other parts of Batangas to enter Lawton and Buendia, they unloaded passengers only in Uniwide warehouse at the coastal road. Huge headache for many passengers on the first few days, they have to take a M.Manila bus -- less convenient, less modern, aircon not so cold, etc -- or jeepney, non-aircon.

I noticed that the week after that, traffic worsened in Edsa, elsewhere. Precisely because many of those probinsyanos are car owners. With the inconvenience and higher cost of multiple rides, many of them drove their cars to Manila.

And after banning provincial buses in Edsa and traffic congestion remains bad if not worsened, what's next? Banning private cars 2x or 3x a week. And many middle class and rich families will buy more cars that they can use on days where their other car/s are banned.

Many probinsyanos carry heavy loads when they go to Manila. Whenever I visit the farm in Pangasinan, the lightest load I carry back home is 15 kilos. Rice, buko, bananas, jackfruit, etc. Taking a taxi from Cubao alone to Makati would cost me nearly P300, which is equivalent to my aircon bus fare from Pangasinan to Cubao.

So I take the city bus, Cubao to Makati, cheap, only P26, but travel time is long. Between 1 to 2 hours, depending on time of arrival in Cubao. So if government will make the provincial buses to stop only at Novaliches or even Valenzuela, then my taxi fare will be much higher and if I take the Manila bus, my city travel will become 2 - 3 1/2 hours.

Better drive my car and carry up to 50 kilos, 100 kilos or more of provincial goods. But then I will be adding to more traffic in Manila. And then many people will say we should ban more cars. sus ginoo.

A friend Reuel H wrote, "I can attest to that. One of our bosses lives in Apalit, Pampanga and takes the bus to work. He would leave his car at SM San Fernando and board the Genesis Liner coming from Bataan to conveniently drop him off at EDSA-Shaw Crossing. With this ban, he may be forced to bring his car all the way to Ortigas Center, thus contributing to the already-horrible gridlock in this business district."

Government should be banned from their frequent ban-prohibit mentality and policy. Very unimaginative and dictatorial.

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