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No mass transport crisis yet, says Panelo
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No mass transport crisis yet, says Panelo

October 9 ------ Despite the travails commuters go through daily on their way to work, school or other destinations, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo believes that Metro Manila has not yet reached the point of a “mass transport crisis.” His reason: Commuters are still able to reach their destinations anyway. Panelo may have to win over to his side Phoebe Lois Baula of Cainta, Rizal province, who now has to spend close to four hours on the road to get to her classes at a university in Manila after the Light Rail Transit (LRT) 2 shut down operations on Oct. 3 when two of its transformers caught fire.

Before the fire, her commute to school took only just over an hour. Panelo will also have to convince Stephanie, who lives in Quezon City, to buy into his assessment of the quality of transportation in the metropolis. At noon on Tuesday, she spent more than 40 minutes on a jeepney to get to Cubao from Anonas Street through Aurora Boulevard, a trip that took just 10 minutes when the LRT 2 was still fully operational. The fire that hit the LRT 2 line has temporarily shut down operations at the Santolan, Katipunan and Anonas stations. Panelo, however, said the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) should still “improve on its services.” “What do they mean by transportation crisis? I only see the traffic. That’s not transport. There’s transportation available. We can all get rides,” he said at a press briefing on Tuesday. He added: “I don’t think we’re at that point yet. Because people can still reach their destination.”