As the pandemic continues, public transportation has been compromised. With the need for social distancing, public transport vehicles (PUVs) cannot operate as usual and many of its operators are at risk of losing their jobs due to unprofitable operations.
Iminumungkahi ng Mobility Coalition sa nasyonal at lokal na pamahalaan ang pagkakaroon ng sapat na mobilidad ngayong panahon ng COVID-19 Modified Community Quarantine (MCQ).#COVID19 #MobilityCoalition #CommutersNaman #MobilidadParaSaLahat pic.twitter.com/GmdWRl49U9
— AltMobility PH (@AltMobilityPH) April 15, 2020
Alternative Mobility (AltMobility) is a non-profit organization composed of volunteers and urban transport professionals dedicated to finding solutions for sustainable urban mobility post-quarantine. Included in their advocacies are the whole commuting public—from pedestrians to conductors. The organization has been around since 2019 and has been holding meetings and events to discuss possible programs that can secure safe transportation and efficient commute systems for the public.
The pandemic has made their advocacy more pertinent. The implementation of the enhanced community quarantine immediately left many PUV operators jobless. As quarantine continues, AltMobility has proposed an “urban mobility support package” solution to the government. This will accommodate the 2.7 million land transport operators at risk of losing their jobs, as well as commuting civilians who will be affected by the lack of PUVs.
According to their team of researchers and urban planning experts, they have found that the country may experience around P520 billion economic losses due to longer commutes and unemployment, also taking into account carbon emissions and road accidents. To this, AltMobility proposed to spend P110 billion on new urban infrastructures and systems. This will not only cut economic losses, but also prevent a second wave of COVID-19.
AltMobility includes the following in their proposal:
- P30 billion to employ 3,000 buses and 15,000 PUVs through service contracts for six months (following social distancing guidelines)
- P10 billion for walking and cycling infrastructure, bicycle sharing programs and bike racks
- P70 billion for bus stops, bus-only lanes, depots and terminals
By implementing this, the organization estimates that the country can benefit P373 billion as it will retain public transport jobs, avoid job losses for commuters and save on fuel for vehicles. These organized systems will also reduce the chances of road accidents.
Fellow commuters, we invite you to support the #MoveAsOneCoalition's proposal for a P110 billion investment to fix our public and transport system to ensure the safety of our people and the economy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
To support, go to https://t.co/1c0zPYOar1
— AltMobility PH (@AltMobilityPH) May 11, 2020
The proposal has been signed by the #MoveAsOne coalition composed of 57 organizations and 30 individuals. Those who are interested in signing the statement can do so at this link. You may also read their budget breakdowns and a comprehensive study on public transportation amid the COVID-19 crisis.
“These measures will effectively promote social distancing by enabling smoother people mobility and reducing people crowding due to queueing and waiting for a ride,” posted AltMobility on their Twitter. “[A]nd therefore help control the spread and effects of the COVID-19.”
Header photo courtesy of Niño Jesus Orbeta from Inquirer.net
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Writer: THEA TORRES