Metro Manila needs a metropolitan public transportation company

TO tackle the deepening city transportation disaster within the Philippines, a part of the answer should be institutional. Our public transportation amenities are ill-equipped to satisfy the mobility wants of right this moment and tomorrow, notably in metro Manila and Metro Cebu metropolitan areas. With a purpose to make our cities livable, productive and sustainable, the institution of city transport corporations with duty for the principle modes of transport must be among the many legislative priorities of the Marcos authorities.

The place to seek out the most effective city mobility lies behind a governance construction that allows seamless connectivity between completely different modes of transport, an interoperable fare assortment system that enables passengers to simply switch from one transit line to a different, and handy real-time entry to info on Providers and in depth monetary powers and numerous sources of earnings, in order that the transport company is just not solely depending on fare assortment. Among the finest examples are the Land Transportation Authority in Singapore and Transport for London within the UK.

There isn’t any single accountable physique for offering mobility outcomes in Philippine cities. As an alternative, there are various components of presidency with overlapping capabilities, leaving nobody accountable for the deteriorating site visitors surroundings. Nationwide businesses just like the Division of Transportation and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board are anticipated to plan and regulate public transportation nationwide, however face critical capability constraints and their consideration is split. It’s not reasonable for one establishment to take over transport planning for a whole nation.

There’s additionally shared duty for roads and bridges. Accountability for a road in Metro Manila could fall to the Division of Public Works and Highways, the Metropolitan Manila Improvement Authority (MMDA), or one of many 17 native authorities models (LGUs), relying on whether or not the road is nationwide or native . Whereas Metro Manila’s LGUs regulate land use and handle native roads, they’ve little management over public transit, apart from regulating tricycles. The MMDA is claimed to play a coordinating position however has little or no actual authority over the 17 LGUs. For too lengthy, Filipinos have suffered the consequences of a dysfunctional institutional framework that has led to poor planning and coordination of important transportation companies. It is time to pursue a a lot better various with the creation of a public transportation company within the Manila metropolitan space.

First, it’s apparent that an space as giant as Metro Manila wants a public transportation authority that’s metropolitan-focused and totally chargeable for transportation and mobility inside its borders. It was to have authority over all public transit companies masking Metro Manila.

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Second, a metropolitan public transport authority masking the principle public transport modes (ie rail, highway and ferry) will assist be certain that these journey choices are properly built-in. There must be handy bodily connections between the completely different companies and straightforward transfers from one mode to a different. With a number of journey sorts below the oversight of a single company, you keep away from harmful and inefficient competitors for passengers – all journey choices are a part of the identical group, working collectively slightly than undermining one another.

Third, a public transport firm ought to be capable to recruit and retain the big selection of managerial and technical experience wanted to deal with complicated mobility challenges, a number of modes of transport, and quickly altering journey environments. The company can present the size, greater salaries, finances, scope of labor, and profession alternatives that may appeal to certified personnel. With extra employees, the company may also be higher in a position to protect institutional reminiscence and be much less affected by periodic turnovers.

Fourth, a metropolis public transport authority will be capable to arrange and oversee an interoperable cashless fare assortment system, permitting one particular person to make use of the identical pay as you go card, cellphone, QR code, or bank card for all public transport companies. As a part of a multimodal and built-in fare construction, the company will be capable to supply weekly, month-to-month or annual passes for all sorts of journey – a function appreciated by vacationers and residents – in addition to reductions for particular teams. It would even be attainable to supply commuters free transfers between modes of transport, that means {that a} passenger pays a single base fare, with the overall fare being calculated over all the journey travelled, even when the particular person is on the identical journey from bus to coach or to Ferry transfers – a function that may doubtless encourage extra folks to make use of public transport.

Fifth, a metropolitan public company will be outfitted to electronically monitor all public transport companies in order that gaps between provide and demand will be shortly recognized and motion taken to fill any gaps. Accessible autos could also be moved to routes the place queues or crowding are extreme. The identical info may also be shared with the driving public, giving them real-time info on arrival instances, various routes and congested companies.

Sixth, a metropolitan public transport authority might be the most effective mechanism to entry and mobilize new and various sources of funding to advertise the long-term monetary sustainability of public transport whereas maintaining fares reasonably priced. That is particularly vital as Metro Manila is poised to increase its mass transit methods within the coming years (together with new rail methods that may incur vital working and upkeep prices). The company might be set as much as obtain and retain income from promoting, station naming rights, parking charges and taxes, highway tolls, site visitors violations and land valuation, amongst different issues, and use these funds for transportation companies and infrastructure enhancements. Entry to various income streams is a key success issue for the world’s finest transportation methods corresponding to Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore and London. Establishing native income streams for a public transport authority in main cities additionally prevents nationwide finances funds from getting used primarily to keep up transport companies in metropolitan areas and neglecting different components of the nation.

Simply final week, information that caught my consideration was the announcement that Jakarta could be bringing its MRT (mass fast transit), LRT (mild rail transit) and Transjakarta (its in depth bus fast transit companies) below a single company and ” Ecosystem.” Makes excellent sense for the entire causes above. It’s time the Philippine authorities did the identical for the development and sustainability of Metro Manila’s mass transit companies. (See additionally “Transport Authorities for Metropolitan Areas: The Advantages and Choices in Occasions of Change”, by Jonathan Bray, City Transport Group, UK (June 2022), Worldwide Affiliation of Public Transport.)


Robert Y. Siy is a growth economist, city and regional planner and public transport advocate. He will be reached at [email protected] or observe us on Twitter at @RobertRsiy.