Reader comments on BRT plan

BIZLINKS - Rey Gamboa (The Philippine Star) - December 14, 2015 - 9:00am

RG Tumao, one of our readers, sent an email recently with photos he took of the Bus Rapid Transit or BRT in Jinan, Shandong Province, China. He was there in the first week of December, and while this column is unable to show the photos he sent, the letter that accompanied the photos would suffice.

Here are parts of the letter he sent, which he would like to share as part of his advocacy to improve the quality of the country’s transportation system.

“From my recent research works I read it was in Cebu that a study was conducted to determine the viability of the BRT in Cebu. But until today, I do not see them on the road. For the public to know, the BRT is simply a public bus system that uses diesel or CNG to power the cars and runs on regular tires on assigned streets. 

“I wanted to say this because the acronym BRT seems to mislead people to believe it is another kind of train like the LRT or MRT. In reality, it is just a regular bus but extended by one more bus clinging on to the power train of the lead bus.

BRT Not for EDSA

“The solution for EDSA is not the BRT because the operators of the EDSA buses are private entrepreneurs and introducing or replacing their buses without changing the fare system will simply cause more chaos.

“In Jinan, the BRT is owned by the government and not all streets could be covered by it because the usual 11-meter curb-to-curb width of a street is too small to allow the BRT to share with other transport systems. Using a dedicated lane for the BRT could also reduce road space needed for other vehicles to run. 

Consolidation of bus operators

“The best solution, in my opinion, is the consolidation of all bus operators into a consortium without the government taking part of its management. Old buses can be retired, according to Euro compliancy, and all parties involved in it should professionalize their own ranks and ultimately make the consortium as one single company. 

“I have received letters saying this is nothing new but, I never noticed any type of solution being presented in my last 25 years doing research on our transport systems.

“To make this plan workable, all buses plying the EDSA route — whether in full or in partial — shall be subjected to a LCA or Life Cycle Assessment which will determine the useful lives of the buses from cradle to grave. 

“From this point, the planner should determine how much the operators make on each bus because these operators would not agree to any change in the system if they see their livelihood could be affected. 

“This plan is so vast that I could not write the answers to all questions I expect to receive when this is presented in the proper forum. All aspects of the economy like fuel sourcing, advertising, land use, road use, tourism, insurance, import and road tariffs, etc. can be improved if the entire transport economy is run by unselfish managers.

Segue to another viewpoint 

“And to segue to another similarly important viewpoint, the Chinese government has started to allow grafters to surrender before a nationwide hunt for corrupt leaders starts next year. I think giving a compassionate amnesty program to all those leaders can make them realize there is still a chance for them to live a simple life because where can they spend their loot when they are considered felons in their own hometown?”

NCC Elite Eight at ABS-CBN Sports & Action

The Elite Eight stage of the 2015 National Collegiate Championship (NCC) started yesterday, Dec. 14, at Tanauan City, Batangas, hosted by First Asia Institute of Technology (FAITH) thru the courtesy of its president, Dr. Saturnino G. Belen, with efficient support by sports director Damialito Arim. 

Eight of the finest collegiate teams in the country are engaged in a “knock-out step-ladder” series that will determine the one and only national collegiate champion for the 2015 season.

The Elite Eight are UAAP champion FEU Tamaraws, NCAA champion Letran Knights, CESAFI-Cebu champion University of San Carlos Warriors, UAAP runner-up UST Growling Tigers, NCAA runner-up San Beda College Red Lions, Vis-Min qualifier University of Visayas Green Lancers, and Luzon-Metro Manila qualifiers Technological Institute of the Phils. (TIP) Engineers and National U Bulldogs.

TIP is the first champion team not belonging to major leagues UAAP, NCAA, and Cesafi-Cebu to barge into the Elite Eight and compete among the best performing teams during the year.

The games today until up to the championship on Dec. 17, are covered live by ABS-CBN Sports and Action channel and televised nationwide starting 2 p.m. Games have moved to FilOil Flying V Arena at San Juan City, home of PCCL for the past five years.

The NCC, organized and managed by Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL), is an annual multi-level nationwide competition that brings together collegiate champions all over the country to determine the one and only national collegiate champion for the year.

13 years running

The winner of this competition is awarded the possession of the M. V. Pangilinan perpetual trophy sculpture, “Abutin Ang Tagumpay.” The San Beda College Red Lions is the current holder of the sculpture after winning last year’s championship.

Engraved in the sculpture are the past national collegiate champions: San Beda College Red Lions (2014), De La Salle University Green Archers (2013 and 2008), UST Growling Tigers (2012), San Sebastian College-Recoletos Golden Stags (2011), ADMU Blue Eagles (2010, 2009 and 2007), UE Warriors (2006 and 2003) and FEU Tamaraws (2005 and 2004).

This is the 13th season that PCCL has conducted the NCC, and ABS-CBN continues to play a vital role in increasing and broadening awareness of this SBP-accredited program. The television coverage by ABS-CBN of the NCC games has given much needed exposure to more leagues at provincial and regional levels.

The National Collegiate Championship is sponsored by ABS-CBN, Philippine STAR, Molten Balls, Fil-Oil Flying V Sports, Fog City Creamery and Foccacia.

Tickets are available at SM Tickets online.

Visit the PCCL website (CollegiateChampionsLeague.net) for more details/information and like our official Facebook fan page (Philippine College Champions League).

Facebook and Twitter

We are actively using two social networking websites to reach out more often and even interact with and engage our readers, friends and colleagues in the various areas of interest that I tackle in my column. Please like us at www.facebook.com and follow us at www.twitter.com/ReyGamboa.

Should you wish to share any insights, write me at Link Edge, 25th Floor, 139 Corporate Center, Valero Street, Salcedo Village, 1227 Makati City. Or e-mail me at reydgamboa@yahoo.com. For a compilation of previous articles, visit www.BizlinksPhilippines.net.

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