0218D: New Buses Following Old Rules

I am generally happy about the new "point-to-point" buses that have been traveling up and down EDSA since December. The experiment is being expanded into new routes and will probably be adapted as a permanent part of Metro Manila's transportation options. The current bus operator has even announced additional double-decker buses being added into the mix of things.

When you look at it, the characteristics of this bus service won't seem exceptional on paper. Buses travel solely from one point to another with no stops in-between. Drivers have regular salaries and do not have variable pay based around number of passengers transported per day or other non-sense like that. Buses must also comply with stringent technical specifications in terms of fuel efficiency and how new the buses are. And buses leave on a regular schedule whether or not they're full.

In other words, it seems like the premium bus service merely implements a lot of the changes that the LTFRB tried to enforce on existing bus operators on traditional routes but have been unable to manage fully given various legal challenges opposing the LTFRB rulings. And while we can't commit to when buses will arrive, having them on a schedule of departure is an achievement in itself.

So it's good that they're trying to implement this but it's weird to call it a premium service since it's really just a bus service that mostly complies to general standards of how buses operate in many, many other countries. But hey, it's still a step in the right direction and so we just hope for the best. And with luck we won't see some sort of legal challenge of existing bus operators who start to feel these new buses are somehow being unfair from a competitive perspective of something.

Let's see how long this experiment will continue on. I honestly hope this leads to other things like, I dunno, regular buses that actually stop at bus stops?