imageMANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – Relief is finally coming to the millions of daily commuters on Metro Manila’s light railway system, the LRT and the MRT.

The mass transportation system has been plagued by overcrowding, long and winding lines, accidents and constant passenger frayed nerves. Not to mention the latest unpopular fare increases which have prompted quite a few protest marches.

Acknowledging that the situation is all but hopeless, Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Jose Emilio Abaya today announced that the government is giving up on the MRT and will revert to good old buses.

But in order not to make the already nightmarish traffic that’s a common daily occurence on Metro Manila’s roadways any worse than it already is, Abaya said that the government will replace the trains with 5-decker buses.

Initially, some 500 units of the tall buses were ordered from Volvo and are expected to arrive in Manila from Sweden  by April 1st this year. Each bus has a seating capacity of 250 passengers. Standing capacity will easily add another 250 passengers per bus.  Abaya said the 500 units should be sufficient to fill the gap that the MRT trains will create once they get de-commissioned.

The first deck of the buses will be reserved for senior citizens and people with disabilities, as well as for people who suffer from acrophobia, or the fear of heights. Acrophobics must present a doctor’s letter or certification in order to use the first deck.

Metro Manila may finally see the end to its public transportation woes and its mass transit system could become a model for the world.

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