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Urban Planning Issues in the Philippines

Research Idea: Jeepneys and Loading Stops

Could savings in fuel become a modifier of the behavior prominent in the Filipino PUV driver?

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The post was updated on June 2019.

While I was riding on a jeepney one afternoon, I thought of a possible research endeavor. My brain really plays games on me, shutting down when I’m in front of the computer, but building blocks of creativity when I got no notes to write ideas on.

It is a rampant problem in the country for Public Utility Vehicles (PUV) to be seen stopping at undesignated places to load and unload passengers. This behavior causes traffic interruptions, driver confrontations, and to some extent, even deaths. 

What would it take to make drivers stopping on designated loading areas?

One could be to show the economic benefit of stopping in only designated areas in terms of saving in fuel and advantage in loading passengers, as well as speed and time considerations for travel. The main reason for making four trips on the same route for nine hours a day is to have money for family needs – food, shelter, kids’ education. And most of the policies being forwarded by transport groups pertain to increasing the amount of take-home money drivers would get out of a day’s work. A fifty-centavo increase as soon as the gasoline rates rise two consecutive times appears to be the frequent proposal.

The same economic benefit in driving public transport is the reason for counterflow-racing along streets, PUV terminals every corner and every pedestrian overpass, and loading and unloading in obstructive positions up to the third lane of a four-lane avenue. In this light, translating potential fuel and time efficiency into the amount of pesos for food, shelter, and kids’ education would provide PUV-related businessmen the baseline for monetary savings.

It would be a daunting task, and I’m not sure of its return in terms of success, but it just made me wonder: Does the level of scientific information dissemination translate to action at this specific level already? Could savings in fuel become a modifier of the behavior prominent in the Filipino PUV driver?

If you would like to use this for a research, all I would want is for you to share your framework, findings, and limitations for knowledge-building. Tag me if possible! 🙂

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