(Last of two parts)
As they say, we do not need to reinvent the wheel. These are unoriginal ideas that may appear to make sense but have somehow gotten no action or just a half-hearted effort from the government. However, if taken seriously and in conjunction with other traffic improvement measures, these could actually result in a more efficient mass transport system in Metro Manila.
- Develop and Improve Northern and Southern Commuter Trains
Some of the heaviest traffic in Metro Manila is experienced on the North and South Expressways. One of the simplest ways to decongest these expressways and save a lot of commuters tons of money (given the price of gasoline and increases in toll fees) is to develop and improve our commuter trains on the PNR railroad lines.
- Build Park and Ride Parking Buildings/Malls beside MRT/LRT stations and Commuter Train Stations
A great way to cut down on vehicles on our main thoroughfares is to build Park and Ride facilities near MRT/LRT and Commuter Train Stations so commuters can drive to these areas, park their cars, and take the trains to where they are going. Shops like 7-11 and Ministop could make a killing so maybe the lot owners near the stations could be encouraged to invest in parking structures.
- Move Universities Outside Metro Manila
Spread out the destinations, ease the traffic. A lot of universities like FEU, De La Salle, and Lyceum have started building branches in the provinces but they still maintain their old campuses in Manila so nothing has really improved. Maybe we just love subjecting our college students to floods and traffic and lousy dormitories when we could start planning for a something like a University City in Clark where the learning atmosphere will definitely be better and healthier. This would also put an end to that “Ang mahirap sa La Salle, parking…” joke.
- Link NLT to SLEX
In the works, I presume. One of the reasons why there is so much traffic on EDSA is because it has become the link between the expressways. Why should vehicles (especially cargo trucks) going north or south need to pass through the middle of Metro Manila when they have no intention of stopping there anyway? C-5 is a joke. It is not and will never be an expressway.
- Link MRT/LRT to Commuter Trains
Trains are the most efficient means of mass transportation and the subways of New York and elsewhere have shown us that. We need to take advantage of this by linking the MRT/LRT to the commuter trains.
- Encourage point-to-point van service
Just think of this as a glorified car pool. If a van or UV service can link a particular subdivision or barangay directly with Makati, why not? This saves the commuters time and decongests the mass transport system at the same time.
- Build a container yard in Laguna
The container vans that arrive at the port of Manila do not need to be transported one-by-one to their destinations in Laguna and Cavite. They can be brought to the Tutuban PNR station and transported by rail to a container yard in Laguna where they would be picked up for distribution. This would lessen the truck traffic in Manila and the SLEX, and this could also be done for the North in Bulacan when the Northrail project is finished.