Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte expressed support behind the Task Force for Transport and Traffic Management’s plans to institutionalize lining up of passengers in legitimate terminals and crack down on illegal terminals that contribute to road congestion.
“Buo ang suporta natin sa plano ng binuo nating Task Force ukol sa pagpapatupad ng disiplina sa mga commuter para makatulong maibsan ang problema sa trapiko,” said Belmonte.
Belmonte appointed lawyer Ariel Inton as Task Force head through Executive Order 9-2019 dated July 29, 2019 to lead the clearing operations dubbed as “Bayanihan sa Lansangan.
“Sa kanyang malawak na karanasan bilang transport reform advocate, kumpiyansa ako sa mga programa ni Atty. Inton na maglalagay ng disiplina, hindi lang sa mga driver, kundi pati sa commuters,” said Belmonte.
In an interview, Inton said the Task Force plans to implement a systematic lining up of passengers on loading and unloading areas and terminals to instil order and discipline among commuters.
“We want Quezon City to be a commuter/passenger friendly city. Mas maaga ka sa pila, mas maaga ka makakasakay,” said Inton, adding that he will also provide priority lanes for PWDs and senior citizens.
Inton said he will recommend to the QC City Council to pass an ordinance penalizing passengers who will be caught not lining up in loading and unloading zones and in terminals with immediate community service.
“In other words, kapag ikaw ay pasaway, doon mismo you have to have community service. Hindi ka makakaalis doon. Nagmamadali ka, peperhuwisyuhin ka namin because hindi ka sumusunod,” said Inton.
Emphasizing the need for order, Inton cited that based on a recent study, it would take commuters more time to take a ride in the absence of a systematic process like lining up.
Inton said there is already a lining up system in place in Kalayaan Avenue which the Task Force is closely monitoring to ensure that passengers are abiding by it.
“I personally see to it that hey really fall in line. Kapag may nakita ako na hindi sumusunod, pinabababa ko talaga. Kung ayaw bumaba, hindi ko pinapayagang bumiyahe ang jeep hanggang hindi bumababa ang pasaway na pasahero,” said Inton.
“If we cannot instill discipline among passengers, we cannot instill discipline sa lahat,” Inton insisted, adding that he plans to meet with transport operators to encourage them to follow the system.
Also, Inton said the Task Force would focus on removing illegal tricycle and jeepney terminals occupying busy roads and sidewalks.
“We will meet barangay officials and transport officials to figure out the transfer of their terminals from those busy streets to a more appropriate space,” said Inton.
Inton said the Task Force would also be relentless in its effort to apprehend colorum and overloaded tricycles and those overcharging passengers.
Belmonte has empowered the Task Force to focus on the regulation of tricycles and pedicabs; the orderliness and safety of all forms of public utility vehicle terminals including identified loading and unloading points and the management of vehicular traffic.
The task force will remain in place until a new body, the Quezon City Department of Traffic and Transport Management, is created and become fully operational.### (Abbey Malvar, QCMO Communication Group)