Earlier I read a news about how, once again, the commuting masses face kilometric lines in the MRT. Apparently from close to 50 trains when the operations started, it went down to 30 then 20 and now 7.
How can 7 trains accommodate the thousands that venture to use these services?
I am reminded of a constant topic of discussion between a friend and I about how our government has wrongly prioritized transportation channels.
Going North from Manila there are the networks of toll ways making land travel faster and more convenient. Going South from Manila sees the same. Is it wrong to improve these road systems?
Well, not if you want to solely cater to the elite who can afford cars and hefty toll fees.
Improving road networks are not wrong. It’s important to improve them for faster and easier travel. However, the toll ways were made with those who have private cars in mind. They are the ones who can afford the toll fees imposed due to the improvements and conveniences of dedicated highways.
What we can see from every improved and developed nation – or even our next door Asian neighbors – are highly developed train systems.
Train systems are the ticket to massive mass transportation. We were at the forefront of it when LRT 1 was constructed – the first and best in Asia at that time. But somehow we’ve lagged behind.
Imagine. If we prioritize our train systems and we get to develop well functioning trains and even make way for high-speed bullet trains, then it would be possible for people in the nearby provinces to travel easily in and out of Metro Manila.
Imagine a Metro Manila that is less congested because the people who live in its dense cities can easily go home weekly to their far flung provinces as aided by the train systems. Who knows, some may even go home daily eliminating the need to rent a temporary house within Manila.
Trains are supposed to be the key to efficient public mass transportation. Yet in skewed prioritization it appears they are at the bottom list.