Because of all the MRT issues in recent months, I've actually put an effort into taking the bus home more. It takes me a bit longer to get home, but at least the chances of the bus stalling in the middle of things or bus service entirely shutting down for the day are pretty minimal. I just have to gamble on the chances of the bus spontaneously combusting or something.
But the way that buses work in Metro Manila is a little bit of madness in itself.
Early last year, the MMDA tried to implement a bus segregation system that required buses going up and down EDSA to only use certain stops. There were A buses and B buses and the magical C buses that should continue to stop at all possible bus stops. Enforcement was pretty strong within the first 30 days and buses did their best to comply lest they faced fines and such.
Welcome to 2014 and the segregation scheme is pretty much just a big joke.
Since I've started taking the bus on a regular basis, I've yet to see or ride a bus that consistently follows the segregation scheme. I've guiltily gotten aboard B buses from the Buendia A bus station. Buses still stop at irregular points based on passenger whim. And of course you have buses who don't even stop at their designated stations - they only do so when a passenger says they're going to get down. And even then there's a bigger chance that the bus will go past the stop and drop you off illegally somewhere else.
And did I forget to mention that the little signs on the front of the bus are still more important that the segregation scheme? Because if you're not careful, you'll end up on a bus that will only take you half the way home because reasons.
I've previously written about the need to overhaul the bus system as part of a more comprehensive traffic solution. And the main thing that my renewed bus experience has reminded me is that my previous idea is totally on the money. We need to junk this ridiculous private bus system and instead come up with better routes. This will probably mean a lot of shorter routes as well and thus more transfers, but that won't be as big an issue with a unified ticket system linked to both buses and trains.
And the wish list goes on and on and on.