Editorial: Cebu City’s passenger overloading dilemma

Editorial Cartoon by John Gilbert Manantan
Editorial Cartoon by John Gilbert Manantan

The Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) has continued its apprehension of drivers who allow overloading of passengers in their public utility vehicles with over seven passengers.

Overloading of passengers happens during rush-hour traffic that usually occurs from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, overloading of passengers in PUVs had been a commonplace during rush hour with people either going to schools or to their workplaces.

This problem of passenger overloading is nothing new. Some commuters have to wait for PUVs as early as 5 a.m. so they would avoid the rush-hour traffic and avoid being late.

However, not all people can wake up early in the morning. When they hit the streets past 6 a.m., they have to wait for hours before they can catch a ride. Some commuters have to compete with their fellow commuters in getting inside a PUV by jumping the line.

The CCTO means well in its apprehension of drivers who allow overloading of passengers because it is prohibited under traffic laws.

The overloading of passengers is circumstantial evidence that there is a lack of PUVs plying the city streets during a rush hour.

Some drivers are not to blame for all the overloading incidents because there are passengers who insist on riding PUVs because they are afraid of getting late to work.

The Cebu City Government can be part of the solution by deploying its buses and other vehicles in transporting commuters during rush-hour traffic.

If the City does this, there is a possibility that overloading of passengers in PUVs would cease to be a problem during peak hours.

Catching drivers who violate the rule on passenger overloading is not the ultimate solution. It is just a band-aid solution to a bigger wound: Cebu City has no Singapore-like mass transportation system.


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