Here in the Philippines, the main way of transportation is a jeepney. This started as a refashioned military vehicle left behind by US soldiers after World War II. Some business-minded Pinoys took the first jeepneys and modified them to make them roadworthy, creating a new mass transit system they stuck around till this day. The jeepney is as culturally embedded in Pinoys as adobo, but is it about time for this 1950s idea to get a revamp to fit in the modern world? Could trains and buses be a better option?
Here are the top 10 reasons why we need to shift to buses and trains for our public transpo system.
Unlike jeeps and taxies that can be registered individually, bus transits and train systems are often being monitored by one or two monitoring bodies. Bus transits have their operators, while the train system is often being monitored by the government. Every cart on that train and every bus under that operator comes with an identification number and other vital information, including who is operating it. This means that if something were to happen, authorities can easily pinpoint the bus or train that needs to be investigated.
Less Space, Less Traffic
A major problem in Philippine cities is the traffic. To accommodate the number of people living in the cities, there has to be a lot of jeepneys. A usually jeepney can carry fifteen to twenty people. Since buses and trains can carry more people compared to jeepneys, we’ll need less cars on the road for public transit. A bus has enough space to carry more than 50 people. A train cart can carry more than a hundred people. Imagine the space we can save on the roads if we minimized the number of jeepnies, use buses, plus a train system to move people around the city. Traffic will surely lessen dramatically.
Efficiency and Effectiveness
One of the reasons why many don’t consider jeepneys as mass transpo is because it can only accommodate a few people at a time, meaning it doesn’t really make it a “mass” transportation system.When it comes to efficiency and effectiveness, buses and trains do a better job than a jeepney can. Not only can they able to transport more people in one go, trains (in particular), can travel much faster than a jeep. More people moved and less time consumed, now that’s efficient and effective.
Safety should be a priority when it comes to mass transportation. After all, you’re letting hundreds, and even thousands, of people ride these transportation system every day. Knowing that they run smoothly and are safe should be a major concern for the operators. A certain standard needs to me met for these vehicles to run. Also, transpo systems like these can help minimize street violence and crimes. Train and bus stations have to be kept well-lit and guards should be assigned to them (or at least in train stations).Andas mentioned, since they all have identification numbers, they can be easily monitored and tracked down.
Buses and trains are more convenient compared to jeeps. Modern buses and train systems have centralized air-conditioning, no more kolorom routes that could cost more time and money, and having a systematic transportation system means you know exactly when the bus or train will stop. No more waiting around for a jeeps that may or may not show up. With a systematic transportation system, you are guaranteed that a bus is available every 15 minutes or a train will stop at the station in every 5 minutes.
Better Time Management
Maybe having a systematic transportation system can help us minimize, and even get rid of the “Filipino Time” mentality. Think about it. Knowing exactly when a bus or train will arrive can help you with time management. You’ll less likely become late for an appointment since you can easily estimate the time you’ll need for traveling and delays. It might sound like a small thing, but being able to manage our time better and showing up on time says a lot about our character.
We can’t deny how a good mass public transportation system can help with economic growth. Since you can get from point A to point B with ease, this opens up so many opportunities for businesses to bloom. Traffic won’t be an issue for businesses to lose time and money. People living outside the city won’t need to commute for hours just to get to work. Jobs will become more accessible, leading to more growth. It creates this domino effect of development, all because everything works on time.
Investing on these new mass public transportation systems will offer many jobs for locals. We’ll need to build infrastructures for projects like these. We need people to build the tracks and stations don’t we? Although it is not a permanent job, workers are able to learn a skill and gain experience, something that they can use in life, whether they’re applying for a new job or for personal endeavors.
Pollution and Environmental Concerns
A major concern of having too many cars, which is what’s happening in most of the developing cities here in the country, is the pollution they bring. As for jeepneys, not only do they make up a good number of the vehicles on the road (a lot of fuel consumed, meaning more emissions), many of them have also been running for a few decades now and are not really in their best shape (they emit more gas). Although there have been proposals of E-Jeepneys which are jeeps that run on electricity instead of gas, wouldn’t it be more efficient if we just banked on eco-friendly buses and trains to save on space and energy?
It’s The Modern Times
Finally, a better, modern, systematic mass public transpo system should be implemented because it helps us keep up with the time. As the years pass, cities grow bigger, provinces become urbanized, and yet we still have the same jeepney transporting us around. Even when there are other transportation options that can work in our cities, and even in our archipelago as a whole, it seems that how we move ourselves is still stuck in the colonial times.
Now we’re not saying that the jeepney should be junked. For cultural and historical purposes, there should be some conservation. But in a whole, the country needs a better mass traspo system. Something that’s clean, safe, accessible to everyone, and effective.
What’s your opinion on this? Keep the jeep or scrap it? Leave us a comment bellow and don’t forget to share this article.