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Bus A, B, and C a BIG FAILURE!


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Photo courtesy of DZMM of ABSCBN News

MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) launched late last year a strategy to somehow organize public buses in EDSA by segregating them into three categories: A, B, and C with different bus stops along EDSA. (About time right?)

Here’s my observation… IT’S NOT WORKING!

Buses still load and unload everywhere and anywhere they please along EDSA. On my way to makati and back this has been the case and the MMDA Traffic Enforcers don’t seem to care or just pretend they don’t see anything.

On my way back home, the bus I was on picked up a passenger on a Bus stop B near Nepa Q Mart even though it’s only allowed to pick up passengers at Bus stop A. What happened next showed how bad corruption in the streets of Metro Manila is. A MMDA Traffic Enforcer stopped the bus and asked for the driver’s license. I was impressed at first and then I overheard the driver saying “Pababaan mo ha!” (Ask him to lower it!) to the conductor who then got off the bus and went to the MMDA Traffic Enforcer.

A few minutes passed and the conversation went like this…

Driver: “Magkano daw?” (How much?)
Conductor: “Isang Libo daw ‘pre!” (One thousand Pesos!)
Driver: “Pababaan mo naman.” (Ask him to lower it.)

After 5 minutes the conductor came back with a huge smile on his face. Handed back the driver’s license to the bus driver.

Driver: “Magkano?” (How much?)
Conductor: 250 lang! (250 Pesos)

I was shocked and saddened by this. Is it really that bad that it seems like it’s common practice to bribe an officer? It only takes USD $5 to buy a MMDA Traffic Enforcer’s dignity? And why are there 10 or sometimes more MMDA Traffic Enforcers in one spot when there is so many traffic prone areas all over EDSA? Do you need one to stand, one to wave, and one to give traffic tickets, and the other to ask for “kotong”? Why is MMDA allowing this to happen? I wish my phone wasn’t dead so I could have taken a video of the incident. Tsk tsk tsk!

Corruption more fun in the Philippines? I hope not!

 

The public commute and the benefits of walking

May 16, 2012 4 comments

Bus Terminal at Star Mall

Bus Terminal at Star Mall

Riding the bus is such a thrill! I never thought it would be a nice adventure.  I can’t remember the last time I had to take the bus to go around the city since I got my car – Sandy (short for Sandra) a few years back.  People in Manila are nice and quiet introvert even but it all changes come rush hour.  On certain occasions you can see relatively quiet and nice people get into arguments while riding these “efficient” mode of transportation.  Women and older people having to stand along the isle of packed buses and the LRT / MRT.  I must say; there’s a real shortage of chivalry in the roads nowadays.  Although uncommon you can still see a guy offer his seat to a lady or an old person.

Yesterday morning, I had the chance to experience taking the bus on my way home from work.

I’m currently staying at Paseo Parkview Suites in Makati for a couple of weeks.  Sounds nice right?  Yes it is but the problem is parking!!!  I love Makati but I hate the fact that parking your car overnight can cost you an arm and a leg.  There’s even a parking space right across the condo that charges Php40 for the first 2 hours and Php40 again every hour after.  That’s not all… if you stay overnight or reach 12 midnight you are automatically charged Php150 additional on top of the hourly rate.  WTF!!!  Yes the parking space is nice and not that many cars park there (maybe because it’s sooooo freaking expensive!) but I only need a parking space for the night not buy the whole parking space!  Hahaha!  Another funny thing with the parking spaces in Makati, they don’t have a maximum charge like in other cities.  So don’t be surprised when they charge you Php300 or even more for overnight parking.  Call me stingy but I refuse to pay that much for parking.

Taking my car to Makati is definitely not an option for me.   I decided to just leave my car in the office since I have a free slot (thanks to Visual Ally).  After finishing some paperwork and heading to the bank for a quick transaction there I was walking along Emerald Avenue towards Julia Vargas to Megamall.  On the way I saw this blind man trying to cross the street.  I rush over and offered my help. It felt good to be able to extend help to someone in need… a benefit of walking that I don’t get when I drive.

Emerald Avenue

Emerald Avenue

 

Aside from the obvious health benefits, I just realized that walking keeps you grounded and lets you appreciate what you have.  Another thing I noticed, driving a car around the metro for a while can make you soft. Hahaha!  I had a bit of a problem getting to my seat inside the bus.  You know how crazy bus drivers can be here in Metro Manila right?  Another advantage of riding a bus or the train is that you can sleep on your way to your destination (now try doing that while you’re driving).

After an hour (usually 15-30 minutes drive),  I reached Paseo De Rojas in Makati and walked to Valero.  I really enjoyed my time walking and watching people rush to work and occasionally getting bumped and stepped on while getting on and off the bus (insert sarcasm here).  Over-all, it was a fun and such humbling experience something everyone should try once in a while 🙂

walking along Paseo De Rojas

walking along Paseo De Rojas

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