July 22, 2024

How can we tell that the 3,246 taxi units are sufficient to cater for the growing population of Baguio City? What studies have been made to ensure the correct ratio is achieved for the city? It seems that either the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and city council committee on public utilities, transportation, and traffic legislation (CPUTT) have not done any proper studies lately.
The CPUTT is hell-bent to stop the planned additional 200 taxi franchises for the reason that it will further aggravate the ailing traffic congestion. Remember this committee chaired by the same person, who for almost two terms, had consistently failed to make any difference in crafting laws that will aid in improving how we manage our traffic problems. One thing though, he is good in coming up with new penalties to collect from the commuting people.
So, is these 200 additional taxi franchises really an issue?
Here’s a different point of view.
What would you rather have, an additional 200 taxi units or an additional 200 private vehicles?
Today, the same chair of the CPUTT is pushing for 12 or 15 multi-level parking buildings to be constructed in Baguio. He has been pushing for this multi-level parking for more than four years now. As a legislator, does he listen to what the majority of the people are saying or does he only listen to people who like to drive their cars?
It is true that multi-level parking will encourage more motorists to bring their cars instead of using public transportation because of convenience. Will it address traffic congestion? Studies have shown the proposed project will not address the problem due to “induced demand,” which increases the need for parking spaces and encourages people to drive.
So, going back to my question, which is better for the city, an additional 200 taxi units or an additional 200 private cars?
Additional 200 taxi units will help move more than 2,000 people around the city. Also, the additional 200 taxi units may encourage 200 motorists to leave their cars at home.
Additional 200 private cars may only help move around 200 people in a day in particular places in the city. Two hundred private cars will even require a place for them to park during the day.
As a responsible citizen of Baguio, which would you prefer? A policy that will assist people who use public transport, or one that will only support people who own a car?
This is the point we need the chairperson of the CPUTT to understand, as we need laws that will improve the lives of people who use public transportation daily to move around the city. Why? Because Baguio has a population of more than 345,000 and growing. We also need laws that will allow people to use active transport like bicycles and feel safe on the roads.
We don’t need laws that only favor people who can afford to own private motor vehicles. It is about time that this legislative body look after the people that use public transportation as well. — JOSEPH EDISON CLARIDADES, Baguio City