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Public convenience

By: Editorial October 23,2015 - 12:45 AM


In a radio interview, Ryan Yu, chairman of the Cebu Integrated Transport Cooperative (Citrasco), said the transport group objected to the alleged failure of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to follow procedure in receiving the  My Bus units that will be operated next month in Metro Cebu.

He said both the LTFRB and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) failed to notify them about the bus line that will service four developmental routes in Talisay City, Mandaue City, Cebu City and the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

What set them off, Yu said, was a statement by one  official which implied that the bus line project was  a done deal, and that the LTFRB public hearing with transport groups was just a formality.

Yu denied that these routes are not being serviced by existing public utility vehicle (PUV) operators.

“It’s not true that the Talisay City to airport route is not serviced…you can get to these destinations by multiple rides,” he said.

While Yu may have a point—and he emphasized that they are all in favor of “public convenience” in mass transport — his argument and the position taken by his colleagues fall flat in the face of what the My Bus consortium is offering as a  modern,  fuel-efficient,   alternative for the public.

The European-made buses comply with requirements of  the DOTC, can accommodate more passengers and will  have dedicated terminals.

They don’t have to make abrupt stops in the middle of the road  to load or unload passengers, unlike  jeepneys.

Between the large-capacity, air-conditioned  buses and dilapidated PUJs, there’s a world of difference.

So the Talisay City to airport route and other routes are serviced by existing operators? Let these operators try to persuade passengers who bring lots of baggage to take multiple rides to and from their destination and see if even one of them would like to do so. Is it even cheaper to take those rides?

Their argument  boils down to livelihood, which is understandable,  and survival. But that can’t be used to deny the riding public a viable choice for a better  mass transport system.

“Magsinabtanay na lang ‘ta (Let’s come to an understanding),” is what they would likely say.

Better yet, why don’t we let commuters decide.

Allow the buses to run, at their offered rates of P25 to P70, and see whether Cebuanos find this a good deal.

A free market will decide the fate of the My Bus series.

No matter what press releases are issued by the transport groups or  the SM mall, whose need for customers gave birth to the consortium of  SM Prime Holdings Inc. and the Manila-based Jam Liner Inc. that will run the buses, the public will decide in the end, through actual patronage, whether  the new bus system will prevail.

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TAGS: Cebu, DOTC, LTFRB, Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), mass transport, MCIA, My Bus, Public Utility Vehicles

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