Since last year, people were already anticipating the implementation of the High Priority Bus System to ease traffic congestion in the city. To pilot the project, there were a few buses deployed to specific areas such as Catalunan Grande and Toril early this year, serving commuters during peak hours of the weekdays.
On Wednesday, assistant city administrator Tristan Dwight Domingo said that a Davao Interim Bus System will be in place, in preparation for the HPBS. The city will pilot two routes, Catalunan Grande and the CP Garcia Highway or diversion road. To be able to do this, 115 bus stops will be identified from the two points to the central business district and the entire stretch of the diversion road. There will be 25 buses for Catalunan and 10 buses plying the CP Garcia Highway. For this year, the objective is to build the bus stops. The buses will come later.
The efficiency of a city’s public transport system showcases the status of a metropolis. This brings to mind the sophistication of the train and bus systems in Singapore which is comfortable and hassle-free. With our increasing population and density of people going to the downtown areas for school or work, the usual mode of transportation no longer works. Add the rising number of private vehicles, and we have chaos on the streets.
The transportation problem needs a multi-pronged, comprehensive approach which is difficult but possible if we have the political will to enforce it. The PUJ drivers, passengers, drivers of private vehicles, trucks, and the traffic enforcers all have different perspectives on how to solve this dilemma. How do we encapsulate these and make a transport plan that will work for everyone? We do not want our traffic situation to mutate into a traffic horror like Manila. At this point, we are assured that the city is serious in rolling out the HPBS. We just have to be more patient.