May 22, 2024

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong has acknowledged the traffic woes being experienced in the city due to the influx of tourists since last month, but assured the city is doing something to address the gridlock.
Magalong said the city has now surpassed its pre-pandemic figures in tourist arrivals with an average of 35,000 visitors a month.   
“Talagang we are surpassing the capacity ng mga kalsada sa Baguio and the only way to be able to address all of this is through a smart mobility transportation system. This is precisely what we are going to implement next year,” Magalong said.
He said the city government is addressing local irritability with its smart mobility transportation system, which concerned offices have been working on for one and a half year.
The smart mobility transportation system has five components: artificial intelligence-managed traffic, parking management, road user congestion fee, public transport management, and law enforcement using no contact apprehension.
For the no-contact apprehension policy, Magalong said the city is waiting for the Supreme Court decision on the lifting of the temporary restraining order against the implementation of the policy. 
The project would be a joint-venture by the city government of Baguio, Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation and Singapore Technologies Engineering.
Part of the plan is the shift to electric and hybrid vehicles for public transport, and establishing an intermodal transport system to link roads outside the central business district. This includes the creation of a bus station outside of the city, so that no buses shall enter the city but passengers will be ferried by e-vehicles instead.
Magalong has asked for patience from the residents to bear with the traffic woes as these plans are being put into motion.
He said the coming in of tourists helps build the city’s coffer as it recovers from decreased revenue collections due to the long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. – Ofelia C. Empian