Thursday, September 27, 2012

Essentials of an Orderly Bus Ride – BGC

Hmm, with that title am starting to sound like a textbook hehe! I better be, if only for us travelers to start realizing (and perhaps tell other travelers) what should and should not be present for us to enjoy a pesky bus ride to wherever. And I take pleasure in picking the bus system inside Bonifacio Global City (BGC) also called Fort Bonifacio, also called The Fort, and at least one of you I know insists I call it Taguig. Sus!

Anyway, I have lately been a constant passenger of these buses inside the fort, not because I like them but because I have no choice! Ikaw na tumira sa condo unit na walang kalakip na parking slot where you pay hefty sums for a mere few hours of parking in the very same building where you live hehe! I have observed time and again though, that in general, getting into and out of these buses are very orderly compared to anywhere else in this country.

And to think, most passengers that ride these buses are youngsters who work at call centers, BPOs and other corporate or commercial whatevers. These are the carefree careless crowd that many older adults refer to, right? Yes, many people say the younger set are more unruly. And these are the passengers who are mostly always in a hurry. And, and… eh, why are the buses inside BGC always orderly then? Let see…

The infrastructure?
Pwede! Because, at the BGC, there are clearly-marked loading and unloading areas clearly followed by the bus drivers. Nope, honey, don’t be so barriotic! They don’t just stop at any point of the route where your building or destination may be. They just can’t! You walk from the nearest bus stop to wherever ‘da hel’ you are headed. Yep, just like you do in HK or SG or anywhere else called developed country!

The Passengers?
Pwede rin! Darling, please don’t be the barbarian like many of your kababayans at just about any thoroughfare in this country. There is no scrimmage nor there is running and jumping just to be ahead of everyone else on that ride. There is something called “falling in line” and/or “first-come-first-ride” if in case you have forgotten. You can cut lines (if you really need to be the taga-bundok that you are), but the many stares that people throw at you will surely pierce through your skull and ribcage, even your pancreas and groins – if you know what I mean! No one will even say a word about it, but you will feel the piercing pain of shame. Yeah, tagos sa laman!

I actually remember that during the first few days of these buses operating in the area, there were personnel – much like the barker or dispatcher just about everywhere. But their roles were more on just to tell you to ‘please’ fall in line and/or tell you which line goes west or east or north. But soon they were gone as they probably felt they have successfully instilled discipline on most of us the undisciplined riding public! Well yes, some of them do still remain to collect fares in advance when there are too many passengers (rush hours) so that bus drivers are relieved of that task, so they can depart immediately! But that’s about it! Maayos naman.

The bus operators?
Ah eh… probably! If I’m not mistaken, there are at the most two operators operating the bus transport system inside BGC. Or is it just one? Hmm, am not sure of that! But one thing is clear, they strictly follow the rules of one entity, that probably is the BGC management. Like how? Like there are not 10 or 15 buses arriving at any station to crowd the road and wait it out or holler for passengers to take their buses and not the others – keber if it takes the whole day! It is just so ‘iskwater’ a style – which causes the road chaos in the first place! No, not at the BGC!

There is only one bus at a time, at any of their bus stations. When it gets full and you are not on board, you wait for the next – which does not take centuries anyway. Ganun lang ka-very simple! It is unlike anywhere on EDSA where you hop on a bus amongst a platoon of them clogging the entire highway, and you sit there intermittently cursing and praying that the high heavens please strike a miracle so the bus would move on after an eon, not three or four! Gosh!

And there is no choosing between a dilapidating karag-karag disintegrating bus or one that is fairly new! All are fairly new, and worth the ride anyway. So whatever comes first to pick passengers up, your line moves along, and how many ever of you can be accommodated, will actually hop-in without any second thoughts. Simple!

So what are the essentials?
Aw, what nga ba?! Now you please think! Read the last 6 paragraphs above again if you wanna be sure! All I can say is, it does not require a government to realize an orderly way of riding buses! Though at times I do believe… even in a democratic capitalist country or society, sometimes the “kamay na bakal” has its practical uses! It is not really wise to admit, therefore allow, that just anyone who can buy a junkyard bus from abroad, has a friend at LTFRB or LTO, has the money to pay drivers, may already be allowed to field buses along any road of this country, at their own time, own conditions or own whims.

Try watching how buses behave at the EDSA-Aurora Blvd (Cubao), EDSA-Shaw Blvd (Crossing) and EDSA-SM Makati (Ayala) areas. And compare them to the BGC experience. Wouldn’t you have wished there is just a monopoly of a bus company operating along EDSA? Well, not really monopoly, but wouldn’t we be all happier if all of them damn buses were controlled by one entity – as to when they should be at a station and/or when they should leave?

Bakit sa Singapore or Hong Kong, okay naman sumakay ng bus, di ba? Some of their bus stops even have digital boards showing what bus is coming and in how many minutes?! Ala eh, dito satin paano? You hop on a bus at SM Makati going Alabang, People will tell you it has been there for a century, and you wait another decade hanggang mapuno kasi siyam silang different buses all there waiting for you to ride on them! Aruuu!

I would rather wait in line for the next bus, than hop on one that will wait forever for nothing!


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