Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Sanchez: Underground

BACOLOD City Representative Greg Gasataya is on a roll.

He got the cigar for the P32-million flyover at the busy intersection of Araneta and Magsaysay Avenues that caters to 40,000 vehicles daily.

From aboveground, next in the public works pipeline is the underground.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) central office for the construction of an underpass.

There is life, after all, more than six feet below the ground.

I’m impressed with the expansive underground system in Makati or even Quiapo. Much of the foot traffic there has relocated below the surface where they cannot compete with motorized traffic.

Why limit the underground to foot traffic? Dream big.

I’m blessed to have experienced riding the subway in New York City, the Metro in Paris, France Turin, Italy, and Hong Kong.

The Lonely Planet lists Hong Kong’s Mass Transit Railway comprising underground, overland and Light Rail (slower tram-style) services.

Universally known as the “MTR,” it is clean, fast and safe, and transports around four million people daily. I agree with the description.

The Paris Metro, short for Metropolitan, is a rapid transit system in the Paris metropolitan area. Its daily ridership as of 2015 has reached 4.16 million.

On the other hand, the Metropolitan di Torino operated by Gruppo Torinese Trasporti (GTT), a public company controlled by the municipality of Turin. Its daily ridership reaches 140,000.

Back in 2005, I frequently rode New York City’s subway system/ wile aboveground traffic is still horrible, travel is eased below the ground where 5.5 million commutes riding the subway trains.

What are common in these mass transport systems?

The number of games. Large numbers of commuters reached their point in minutes for a fraction of the cost. Thus, more time is spent on work, not on travel.

No wonder that the standard of living in these countries, and cities are high.

Time is gold. The more time is spent on boosting productivity than on the stress of lengthy travel time, the bigger the capacity to create social wealth.

Visionary politicians who built these systems are all gone, but their legacy endures to serve the present generation of travelers.

Can Representative Gasataya see beyond his potential nine-year-term to lobby the DPWH for expanding the underpass to creating a metro transport systems? (bqsanc@yahoo.mail)


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