Hoping for real infra change in 2017 - SunStar

Hoping for real infra change in 2017

Jerome NeriAtty. Jerome G. Neri
The Scrutineer

IT’S 2017 and let us move forward.

I’ve been using Uber quite a lot during the holidays for the convenience it gives me. It picks me up from where I am, tells me how many minutes before it arrives and I am taken to my destination. The transaction is completely cashless. I’ve also used Uber to have my 15-year-old daughter fetched from school. I see in real time when the car arrives in her school and exactly where she is until she arrives home from my smart phone. It’s a brilliant service.

Here comes the problem. Our taxi operators are threatened by Uber and of course are moving heaven and earth to have them removed. We also have an LTFRB head here in Cebu who’s mind is still left in the 20th century. As of today, we do not know if Uber will be here to stay or will our antique LTFRB head have them removed?

Instead of protesting, the Taxi operators should step up their service. Taxi operators here in Cebu are an organized group and they too can compete with UBER by making their own app. The taxi operators actually have the advantage as they have their own motorpools, they get their fuel cheaper, and even a lot of them run on LPG. A similar app as that of Uber is all they need and they can outprice Uber. Uber showed us the modern way to do a taxi business. The taxi operators should look at this example and adopt the modern way.

SUBWAY TRADITION. Young people with no pants wait for the subway train during the event ‘No Pants Subway Ride’ in Berlin, Germany. What started in New York City in 2002 with a just a handful of people has blossomed into a worldwide movement involving thousands. No Pants rides were scheduled last Jan. 8, Sunday, in about 50 cities across the US, Canada, Europe and Australia. (AP FOTO)
SUBWAY TRADITION. Young people with no pants wait for the subway train during the event ‘No Pants Subway Ride’ in Berlin, Germany. What started in New York City in 2002 with a just a handful of people has blossomed into a worldwide movement involving thousands. No Pants rides were scheduled last Jan. 8, Sunday, in about 50 cities across the US, Canada, Europe and Australia. (AP FOTO)

E-tricycles are not a way forward. There has been a lot of talk and there are existing projects where the good old tricycle is replaced with an electric powered tricycle, making this mode of transportation zero emissions. It is the future of tricycles, so they say.

A tricycle is a slow-moving, inefficient mode of public transportation. What ever we will use to power it, the tricycle will still remain a slow and inefficient mode of transportation. In today’s world, a tricycle is a moving road obstruction that should be removed permanently. You don’t put a rapist back on the street just because he turned vegetarian, right?

Same goes for these E-jeepneys. What I find completely hilarious is that the proponents of these E-trikes and E-jeepneys make it appear like the Philippines is embarking on some ground-breaking technology and that we are going to be a world leader in the E-trike or E-Jeepney technology.

Well, this is not new or modern technology. It is actually golf cart technology. And we have had electric golf carts in this country for as long as I can remember. I can assure you that it is no Tesla.

What we need is a real and substantial modern change in our public transportation system. It has to be clean and efficient. I have seen that one of the proposals for Cebu is a monorail system, which would be the least invasive to what little space we have here. It certainly is a much better proposal than the Bus Rapid Transit, which was not really a solution to our transportation needs but instead a potential bigger problem.

Here is to a 2017 where we actually have a real hope of seeing real infrastructure change in Cebu. Our President has promised that he will be and infrastructure President and that the Visayas and Mindanao will finally get the infrastructure it deserves.

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