Today marks the implementation day of the provincial bus ban which the local governments and MMDA deem to be the best solution to address the heavy traffic along EDSA. This means no more province-bound buses are allowed to enter EDSA. For a CaviteƱa like me, this is heartbreaking news. Gone were the Jasper, Saulog, San Agustin and Erjohn & Almark buses that save us time and money from the typically tiring travels from the metro. To top it off, this Kapamilya just decided to cease renting space in Project 4 and go uwian to Bacoor City everyday.

Actually, leaving Cavite is not an issue for me. From Zapote Kalinisan, I can take a jeepney that would take me to Baclaran (P15). From Zapote Kabila, I can take an airconditioned bus (P18) or a jeepney (P15) that would reach the same destination. From there, I'll take a jeepney to Taft-MRT station (P8) then alight at Quezon Avenue-MRT station (P15 currently and I dread the impending MRT fare hike). But what made me feel upset is the sight of fellow pedestrians crossing from the foot bridge, waiting for buses and taking a long walk to Baclaran. Under the rain, mind you. I could just imagine the hassle this had caused - from employees trying to get to their offices, students to attend their classes and call center agents wanting to go home and sleep right away. I wonder if Chairman Francis Tolentino can still smile like that if he's tried bus-hopping himself on a daily basis.

Stranded here, there and everywhere! Photo obtained here.

Now let's talk about my commute home earlier. Before the bus ban, I normally board a Batangas-bound bus (BSC) located just below Taft-MRT station and alight at Talaba. (P25). Out of curiosity, my best friend and I took a jeepney to the SouthWest Provincial Bus Terminal in Coastal Mall (P10) then took another airconditioned bus to DasmariƱas City (P25). Imagine taking this re-route for a month (P10 x 20 working days) and you got yourself P200 deduction from your budget.

What even appalled me is the absence of light posts along the walking grounds from the jeepney drop-off point to the actual bus terminal. Seems like an encouragement to the pick-pockets in the area. And to think they thought of putting up this installation of a provincial bus a few feet above the ground (sorry, I don't have photos to back this up)! Function muna kasi bago aesthetics!

Inside the provincial bus terminal. Photo obtained here

The interiors of the bus terminal seemed spacious enough. But I stopped inspecting as soon as we've found our targeted bus. Actually, it felt chaotic as there were too many familiar buses and we didn't know which one to go to. "Should we go to Saulog or to San Agustin? Wait, Erjohn & Almark still have vacant seats! Ok, let's go for it!" And when we finally reached Talaba, we did a time check and realized this new route costs us the same amount of travel time (45 minutes). 

I therefore conclude that, next time, we'll just take a jeepney bound to DBB-C across Heritage Hotel. It's much less of a hassle. 

Change is good, they say. But I'm hoping THIS would pave the way for better traffic flow and, most importantly, speed up the extension of MRT to Cavite. As far as I am concerned, that's the only great news that can mitigate this issue. 

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