By Chito Chavez
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has supported the plan of the Task Force for Transport and Traffic Management to institutionalize legitimate passenger terminals as a way to 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 (I am giving full support to the proposed plan of the Task Force of instilling discipline to the commuters to help ease traffic woes),’’ 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.
With his vast experience as a transport advocate, Belmone expressed confidence that Inton’s program will instill discipline not only to the drivers but also to the commuters.
In an interview, Inton said the Task Force plans to implement the systematic lining up of passengers on loading and unloading areas and terminals to instill 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 (The earlier you get in line the earlier you get your ride),” said Inton, adding that he will also provide priority lanes for PWDs and senior citizens.
Inton intends to recommend to the QC City Council that it passes an ordinance, penalizing passengers who will be caught not lining up in loading and unloading zones and in terminals with immediate community service.
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 they really fall in line,’’ Inton said.
“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 noted 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.