The following suggestions only require minimal investment from the government but impose serious cooperation from all concerned. The program is implementable within 30-60 days for immediate solution and more than a year for the long-term one:
1. Implement the odd-even scheme on private cars or vehicles
Research shows that private cars occupy about 78% of road space. Reducing this number in half would immediately give results. How do we do it in a fast way? Adopt the odd-even scheme for road use by placing reflector stickers measuring 2in. X 6in. at the center of the front and back windshields. This will bring out easy vehicle identification even at a distance. Vehicles with odd number ending on their license plates will use one color sticker (example orange) ans will only be allowed to travel on odd numbered days. Even numbered vehicles will have another color of stickers (example light green) and will only be allowed to travel on even numbered days.
The method of Implementing this odd-even number scheme is simple and traffic enforcers won’t have any difficulty apprehending violators.
Vehicles can be easily checked early on at “checkpoint” areas like entry to expressways where prohibited vehicles can be prevented and/or stopped from travelling. Violators may be apprehended at entry points. Easy apprehension can also be made as stickers used are refectorized and identifiable even at a distance.
In adopting this scheme, the public must be given 30-60 day period of preparation. Information campaign had to be undertaken. Vehicles may secure their stickers at all LTO offices which can also coordinate with private entities like tollways, gasoline stations and/or even local government offices to fast track the implementation of this scheme.
The sticker will be produced by LTO for security purposes and must be marked to prevent imitation or
counterfeiting. Car owners must buy this sticker for a minimal amount.
The scheme shall be implemented only on identified major thoroughfares where traffic is heavy at most or all times. Authorities must publish the information effectively. This road identification will also give opportunity for “prohibited” vehicles to search for alternate routes not identified should they opt to use their vehicles especially for short distance or nearby travel only.
Implementation shall be limited from 7am – 7pm, Monday – Saturday only with Sundays free for all with no time limits.
The scheme is not applicable to emergency, police, military, government and official vehicles and the like.
Utility vehicles like buses, jeepneys, taxis, ubers and grab shall still adhere to the present color coding. Heavy trucks shall still conform to the truck ban schedules until traffic systems improve.
2. Scheme for riding public
Government employees shall adhere to 7am – 4pm regular work time similar to daylight savings time (DST). Private employees shall follow the 9am – 6pm work time. This scheme will reduce influx of passengers using public transport system during peak hours.
3. Increase the number of LRT – MRT coaches
More coaches would translate to faster passenger transport.
4. Increase traffic enforcer visibility
This will ensure imposition of discipline among commuting public and vehicles.
5. Fast-track approval of public utility vehicle applications
This is the opportunity to weed out old, dilapidated and energy inefficient public transportation vehicles and replace them with new, modern and reliable ones. The riding public deserves better transport services.
6. Fast-track present infra construction
Accelerating all on-going road and similar construction will definitely result in traffic decongestation.
The government itself should undertake production or manufacture of odd-even color license plates for security, availability and related reasons if we are to adopt the odd-even number scheme for sometime or permanently. The manufacturing facility can also be used to produce business license plates for business enterprises nationwide. LTO can undertake this program if they are allowed, otherwise a separate government company or GOCC have to be established.
The above schemes can be implemented simultaneously and are by no means exclusive. There may be other programs that can be integrated or mixed with the above. But one thing is sure. There is no need to allocate huge government outlay or subsidy to solve traffic problems. Moreover, solving traffic woes should not take a long time. Everyone must remember that we are losing billions of resources every day that we are saddled by this predicament. All we need is a little sacrifice and cooperation from all concerned and we can do away with traffic problems. The riding public will see better travelling days ahead.
BENEGILDO R. MENDOZA
Tribeca, East Service Road, Muntinlupa City
Mobile No. – 0917-725-2144