By Jel Santos
The former chairman of Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and now Marikina City 1st District Rep. Bayani “BF” Fernando gave an unsolicited recommendation to the current MMDA administration headed by Chairman Danilo Lim, a retired brigadier general.
Despite efforts to solve the traffic gridlock in the National Capital Region, commuters and motorists continue to endure the traffic congestion which seems to worsen by the day due to various factors.
Fernando, who is an engineer and served as MMDA chairman for eight years, said the agency should utilize all its equipment and people in dealing with the worsening traffic situation in the metropolis.
“Watching on the sideline and after all these years I have not seen a better alternative in place so I have taken the risk of bringing about these unsolicited recommendations to the present dispensations,” he said.
According to Fernando, MMDA has the technology and experience to manage the system, saying they should use them and acquire more.”
Moreover, he said that MMDA must “put the geometrics and all necessary road furnishing like fences, signages, signals, and monitoring equipment like cameras, RFIDs back in place.”
The former MMDA chairman also recommended to give all buses at grade priority in crossing any intersection. “All other vehicles must stop and make way for buses to stop. This was never done before.”
Buses, Fernando said, must not stop at any point except in the bus stops with their doors right in front of the gates of the platforms.
“The buses unimpeded can move more people at any given time and the constancy will make more accurate dispatching forecasts to minimize passenger waiting or queuing time as well as reducing the number of idling bus units on the road occupying much needed road space,” he pointed out.
“With the controlled dispatching all units have the same average number of trips to make in a day thereby giving no reason for any operator and driver to break the rules and take advantage. Each driver can only make so many established number of trips in a day and no more than the others,” Fernando added.
Because of such, he said that the old problem of boundary o commission system will then end. “The drivers in time may opt to be paid regular salaries and be more abiding road users.”
“The operators in the end may see the wisdom of incorporation and then we can see a private corporatized one route one bus company [which is] more efficient and professionally-managed giving better monetary returns to former operator who by then have become stockholders,” the former chairman ended.