Saturday, May 01, 2004

The MRT/LRT is ideally an effective/efficient way to travel. Everybody understands the cost savings in terms of fossil fuel generally required and the time it takes to get from point A to point B.

But disadvantages may just outweigh the advantages for now.

Walking long distances to get to the nearest train station takes a while not to mention a great deal of sweat just to walk long distances -- unless you need to do that to meet your exertion (aka exercise) quota for the day.

But from the point of view of a member of the great unwashed, it really makes more sense to ride the great icon of Philippine transportation. I am talking about the ubiquitous jeep which has gone from the drab green Government Issue that was used as a 4-seater military personnel transport vehicle (whew! Such a mouthful) during the latter part of the 2nd World War to the colorfully festooned version that could hold perhaps as many as 30 civilian passengers across towns and cities. You have to lend it to Filipinos for their creativity and resourcefulness.

Mass transport system would have to be viewed from the eyes of the average Filipino who by profile has the following characteristics. (Will take that up later)

Although a Western development consultant might suggest a paradigm shift in transportation, economic imperatives would dictate otherwise. While it might make more sense to use electric-powered trains, Filipino frame of mind would drive a daily traveler to go for a cheaper mode. You have the jeeps, the tricycles, or pedicabs. For longer stretches, the hunks of a scrap metal of (read dingy) buses would also do.

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