10 suggestions harassed commuters secretly love
But Metro Manila’s public transpo situation is, of course, the one you can expect in hell.
So, for whatever it’s worth, here are 10 suggestions on how government and operators can make the daily ride through hell less infernal.
- Make the damn elevators and escalators work. The least one can do to alleviate train riders’ sufferings is make them climb less. And don’t tell me they’re down for some “maintenance work”. Maintenance work for over six months? That’s not “work” — that’s retirement.
- Make the damn AC work. Precisely one of the reasons people would rather choose the long queues at train stations is the temporary comfort they’ll get once they’re inside the train — or so they expect. Because, no, the trains are often without air-conditioning that the windows are sometimes opened just to let oxygen in.
- Make a map of all jeepney routes and publicize it. Something like the famous Vignelli subway maps — color-coded, geometric, simple. This would help people (including tourists) to plan their trips around the city.
- Create co-working-space buses. This idea I got from a fellow Toastmaster, Mark Escay. If we are going to get stuck in traffic for three hours anyway (that’s six hours per day!), why not ride a (presumably premium, members-only) bus with wifi connection, poufs, cacti, coffee, and doughnuts? You’ll get some work done while on the road. (Though, frankly, I wonder why some people need to go to the office when their jobs are already digital.)
- Make the tricycles larger. It is dehumanizing to crouch so low and consider it “sitting”. I mean, pigs and chickens have better lot when transported to their slaughterhouse — at least they’re standing with dignity. And get those trikes some extra headroom: nobody wants to get out of them with souvenir concussions.
Now, a short disclaimer, what follows are suggestions which some may find offensive, but actually secretly love with all their hearts:
- Ban standing when riding the bus. This would alleviate unnecessary guilt by seated men in this age of gender equality.
- Create extra-fast lanes in train stations. I’m thinking slides. So aside from elevators and escalators (and stairs), there should be slides as well, for the chronic latecomers.
- Explore installing ziplines along train lines. These are for the daredevils who are late for work.
- Devise fart-bombs (FBs) to be used by commuters who are denied rides by taxi drivers. Make the FBs small enough for them to drop in the cab’s back seat as they — denied but undefeated — rush out and look for cover.
- Put spikes that automatically emerge on the edges of pedestrian lanes whenever the red light is on. This would discourage motorists from obstructing the crossing pedestrians.
Do you have anything to add to the list? Tell me about it in the comments below.