Home-to-work trips part 1 – The person-trip
STREETLIFE - Nigel Paul C. Villarete (The Freeman) - July 31, 2018 - 12:00am

We wrote a three-part series on “pe•des•tri•an” simply to draw attention to its importance in the overall transportation environment of our city. It is not only a classification of “person-trip,” it is a person-trip which is almost always part of the overall trip of a person when we go to work every day (except for those using cars). Six years ago (Feb/2012), we wrote an article “Understanding the term Person-Trip.” Let’s revisit that and focus on “walking.”

When you’re using a car, that’s all you really need to react your workplace. Disregard the short “walk” to the building, or up the stairs, unless your parking area is really that far to consider the walking as a separate person-trip. Riding your own motorcycles also are single person-trips. So is biking. These are called door-to-door transportation.

Public transportation, on the other hand is seldom door-to-door, unless both your home and workplace are located in front of stations or stops. So, you need to walk the “last leg.” When your daily commute consists of more than one ride (jeepney, LRT, BRT, etc.), oftentimes you need to walk when you transfer too. It might be just crossing the street or intersection to transfer to another route, but sometimes, the distance maybe considerable. Even if it’s the same station, especially for rail, it may entail a long walk indeed. Some people might also have two to three rides, or even more, for their daily commute, with walking at the start and end, and in between. Those who live in Talisay and work in Consolacion can easily get this.

For those who have visited or lived in “megacities” (cities or metropolitan areas of more than 10 million population), you will know that these multiple-leg trips, with “transfers” in between are usually the norm. And transfers can be a major headache, especially in peak times. I am speaking only of public commuters, of course, car- and motorcycle-owners enjoy the door-to-door convenience. No wonder almost everybody wants to own a car. Besides transfers, there’s the walking (or any alternative to walking) at the beginning or end of the public transport trips. These end difficulties are called the first-mile-last-mile (FMLM) transit.

So, there’s direct door-to-door service (your own car or motorcycle) and there’s public transportation, which includes transfers and FMLM issues. What is important to note about all of these are the realities. First – only a tiny part of the population own cars (and/or motorcycles); the great majority travel by public transportation. Second, the bulk of all daily trips of any city in the world are the home-to-work trips (including home-to-school for students). So, if we want to address the transportation problem, we need to focus on public transportation and on home-to-work trips which create the peak hours. Do you ever wonder why we have morning peaks and afternoon peaks? Because we go to work in the morning and go home in the afternoon. In the transportation problem, these home-to-work trips govern. If we address them, we solve 90 percent of the problem. (To be continued)

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