brt up close

The public transportation system
we could have in Metro Manila

Here's an even more in depth look at bus rapid transit -how it works and how it is managed, featuring Bogota's Transmilenio.

The video is from The Oil Drum and was produced by Streetfilms, the same folks who gave you the documentary on Bogota's Ciclovia.

Just so you know that BRT systems are not only about improving traffic, but is basically about social justice through efficient transportation, read more about the Transmilenio's impact on the urban poor from the BoP folks in NextBillion. They write:
For Enrique Peñalosa, the mayor of Bogotá who drove the initial planning and implementation of Transmilenio, making high quality transportation accessible to Bogotá's low-income population was central to the project. By attacking the public transportation crisis, characterized by "penny wars," gaps in service, unequal pricing, high levels of pollution, and serious traffic congestion, the new BRT system aimed to reduce inequality. This included not only disparities in the quality of transportation services, but also long-term economic and educational inequities perpetuated by a lack of mobility and access between high and low-income areas of the city. [WRI has an interesting feature piece available that also describes the breadth and vision of Peñalosa's urban reform efforts].
Hmmm. So "public transportation crisis" that is characterized by "penny wars, gaps in service, unequal pricing, high levels of pollution, and serious traffic congestion."

Does that sound familiar?

And this serves as a great prelude to my next post: "Getting better public transportation in Metro Manila."


ben c. said...

Skytrain in Bangkok, too, is the MRT we could have had. Nice terminals, wide cars, automated ticket dispensers -- no jampacked cars, no long lines that force people to stand all the way to the pavement of EDSA, nicely placed signage, etc.

The closest we have to a sane rail system is the Aurora line.

A common theme to these problems goes beyond our mass transit problem. Our government officials just don't care about the final product/service that their project deliver.

I get the feeling that for them, their work is done after they sign the deal. There is no quality control and no system to ensure that processes are continuously reviewed and improved for better service.

ben c. said...

pahabol, urbano.

forgot to emphasize in my comment that social justice should be one of the end-goals of public servants (to which, so far, most of our officials seem unaware of!).

for instance, malls employ thousands of commuters. SM in Makati and MegaMall, I bet, has many clerks who live in the outskirts of MetroManila (eg, Fairview, Bicutan, etc). all of these people need public transport and all of them pay their taxes. in return, they get lousy service.

let's do a series of posts on this (mass transit as social justice) and keep blabbing about it until the folks up there finally notice :)

Anonymous said...

There is news that WB & ADB is studying the possibility of starting a BRT in Cebu.I hope this is true.


Anonymous said...


PUJ drivers will protest Bus Rapid Transport system

Cebu Daily News
First Posted 06:52:00 02/09/2008

THE PUBLIC Utility Jeepney drivers groug will protest the proposed Bus Rapid Transport System that the Cebu City Government wanted to implement in Banilad and in the South Road Properties (SRP).

The BRT system, conceptualized by Mayor Tomas Osmeña in 1996, will use city-owned buses as a solution to the traffic congestion in the city.

Ruben Rama, secretary general of the Nagkasahiusang Drayber sa Sugbo (Nadsu), said the BRT system will displace PUJ drivers plying the Banilad and SRP roads because buses will be given priority by the city government.

Rama said it is difficult for PUJ drivers to transfer to other routes because they would need approval by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

Vice Mayor Michael Rama assured the drivers’ group that once the project is be implemented, they will be transferred to other areas where buses won’t be assigned.

The vice mayor appealed to everybody to be open to the BRT idea because the traffic in the city is getting congested and the BRT system is one of the proposed solutions. Correspondent Chris A. Ligan

Urbano dela Cruz said...

sorry peeps, for the delay in my replies. Was tied up with this conference.

ben c, amen on the social justice.

there is a quick solution to getting our public officials (elected and appointed) to think about the final product -force them to use it.

Which is exactly what Shanghai and Mexico City have done.


thanks for the lead. I understand the fears of the PUJ ops/drivers and I think the city government doesn't understand how to mobilize political will behind BRT. See my next posts.

Anonymous said...

sir,im skye, Feu student,.i would like to ask if why does philippines offers a low quality of transportation?,.tnx

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