Make EDSA busway passenger-friendly, gov’t urged
A public policy think tank is reminding the government to take into consideration the plight of commuters in the feasibility study it is conducting in connection with the possible privatization of the EDSA Busway System.
“The core of any proposed PPP [public-private partnership] should focus on improving the commuter experience, such as shorter wait times and adequate protection from extreme weather conditions,” Infrawatch PH convener Terry Ridon told the Inquirer.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said it had recently ordered the PPP Center of the Philippines to develop a feasibility study on the privatization of the public bus transportation in one of Metro Manila’s busiest thoroughfares.
Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista earlier said that using the PPP model in financing the bus system could benefit commuters as the operator would be able to introduce innovations such as an automated fare collection system.
Ridon said fare pricing should not be more expensive than current rates.
He said the private sector operator must find other means of generating revenues, as it recoups a potentially massive investment, to keep prices affordable for passengers.
“The core revenue of an Edsa Busway PPP should come from lease and outdoor advertising incomes instead of terminal fees or surcharges,” Ridon said, as rising inflation rate continue to erode the purchasing power of consumers.
Overall, Ridon said the “PPP Center should determine whether transforming busway stations into commercial hubs will be viable and profitable, similar to the … Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange.”
In a recent joint statement, 30 private sector groups called on the government to privatize the Edsa Busway System.
The groups stressed that the “busway with rapid bus service has proven to be the most cost-effective urban mass transit system in the world.”
Among the signatories were the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry Inc., Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, Management Association of the Philippines and Women’s Business Council Philippines.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.