Briones: Traffic and trad jeepneys

Publio J. Briones III
·2 min read

IT DOESN’T take a genius to realize that traffic in Cebu City is not caused by traditional jeepneys, considering that only 19 of them are currently running on the streets.

That’s why I had that “Whatcha talkin’ ‘bout Willis?” moment when Cebu City Transportation Office head Alma Casimero said that their return had not affected the situation on the roads.

Like, duh!

She too must have realized that she had just stated a no-brainer which was why she quickly changed tack. And so she told the public to brace for more traffic in the coming weeks because more traditional jeepneys were expected to resume operation.

And what do you know, 43 more traditional jeepneys were granted “Balik Pasada” permits that would allow them to ply different routes in the city.

Let me see... of the more than 5,000 drivers of traditional jeepneys that used to be on the streets before the coronavirus pandemic struck in March, only 200 complied with all the requirements to be considered for the City Government’s “Balik Pasada” program.

However, not all will get the certificate and the green light to return to work, so to speak, since many of their units failed the inspection conducted by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board 7 and the Land Transportation Office 7, while others await inspection.

But still, residents of Cebu City should beware of these fewer than 200 traditional jeepneys that will soon be back on the road because they will be the main cause of bottlenecks in the lead-up to Christmas Day.

Huh? Something doesn’t add up, does it?

I was just trying to follow Casimero’s logic and this is where it led me.

I know I shouldn’t be too hard on Casimero. I might just be overthinking the whole thing, but I think it’s unfair for traditional jeepneys to get all the blame when we all know that with or without them traffic exists.

I mean I didn’t hear her issue any statement regarding the situation on the road before the 19 traditional jeepneys were let loose.

Trust me, it has been bad since restrictions were further eased when the city was placed under modified general community quarantine, especially on P. del Rosario St., which is right outside our office. Rush hour there has been akin to pre-Covid rush hours without the traditional jeepneys.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s no love lost between me and traditional jeepneys. But I think they deserve some slack. In the spirit of the season. With that said, I should lay off dissing Casimero. She doesn’t deserve it from a smart aleck like me.

What do I care, anyway? By 2022, all traditional jeepneys will be gone. And trust me, traffic will still be there.