Wisdom > Opinion

Why shouldn’t motorists be in the bus lane?

We need to see the bigger picture

Just because everyone is doing it doesn't make it right. PHOTO FROM PHILIPPINE NEWS AGENCY

On July 4, several drivers were apprehended by the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic in Pasay City for being in the EDSA bus lane. In a viral video, one motorcycle rider said: “I know this is a bus lane, but I didn’t know it’s a violation to drive here.” He thought the bus lane was also a fast lane. Still, whether he was sincere or was just trying to save face on camera is arguable.

One thing that isn’t up for debate is that private motorists should not be in the exclusive bus lane—if the signs aren’t obvious enough. Just because the lane is clear doesn’t mean it’s free for anyone to use, and this also applies to bike lanes and sidewalks.

The shortcut isn't worth the hassle of getting ticketed. PHOTO FROM PHILIPPINE NEWS AGENCY

We know how tempting it can be to slot your vehicle into a lane devoid of any traffic. But you’re not the only one on the road. Multitudes of Filipinos spend hours on their daily trips across the city with the majority dependent on public transportation. And you’re no more important than everyone else.

The reason why there is a bus lane is to keep the path clear for the EDSA Carousel. We respect those who choose to drive their own car or motorcycle. But we need to recognize the importance of mass transit. One bus can move so much more people than a private vehicle.

Traffic exists even in developed countries like South Korea. But at least public transport is efficient, and drivers are disciplined. PHOTO BY LEANDRO MANGUBAT

And that’s the key. Things will be better for everyone if people weren’t as dependent on cars, as there will be less congestion on the road. But given a choice, why would anyone ride public transportation if they will end up in traffic just like everyone else?

Staying outside the bus lane isn’t going to cut down your travel time. But it is one concrete step motorists can take to prevent traffic from worsening. Also, ignorance of the law is not an excuse to break it. So, don’t be surprised if an enforcer apprehends you for violating the exclusive bus lane.

Leandro Mangubat

Leandro is our staff writer. Although having a background in mechanical engineering, he enjoys photography and writing more.