Road Trains: Another Band-Aid Solution for the Country’s Skull Fracture

Well, there’s no denying the fact that traffic has become one of the major problems this country faces. If one were to consider the roads of cities as the blood vessels of the Philippine anatomy, one can say that the Philippines is screwed quite royally. So no President Aquino, congested roads in major cities are not a sign of a booming economy. As a matter of fact, with the kind of traffic inherent in most cities throughout the Philippines, it is a certainty that many perishable but crucial goods like food and medicine never reach their intended destinations in time. In the end, with this kind of system in place, the common people just have to make do with spoiled food when they have nothing to eat or risk taking expired medicine when an epidemic occurs.


What’s worse is that the MRTs, the trains that make commuting at least a little easier in major cities are all too often poorly maintained to the point of being dangerous to ride. Nonetheless, many of our countrymen ride them anyway as they are left with little choice in the matter. With great risk to their own health and safety (the possibility of being mugged, molested or killed in an accident is always considerable) and often having to show up late anyway (due to technical issues that prolong the already long and unpleasant waits at terminals), Filipino employees board the MRTs anyway, hoping they can at least arrive a little earlier and less worse for wear than their colleagues.

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However, it seems that there is still hope for Filipino commuters…

Presenting: Road Trains!

General Description

Road trains are essentially buses that have been connected end to end to turn them into a kind of train. Really, just think of Human Centipede and apply it on a vehicular level. At least 40 meters long and comprised of five coaches or segments, the DOST or Department of Science and Technology hopes that it can at least help with the current traffic issues. Please click here for more info.


  • Runs on a hybrid engine. For those not in the know, that means it relies on diesel and a rechargeable battery as a fuel source. This means it is slightly more environment-friendly than most vehicles out there.
  • Can lessen the reliance on MRTs.
  • Can, allegedly at least, help commuters in their day to day travel to work and back.


  • Isn’t really feasible to use in bustling cities like Manila because of its size and the way it has to turn.
  • It’s passengers still have to deal with the possibility of being late as it can still get stuck traffic because it also uses roads.
  • Due to its size, it has the potential to cause even more traffic.


When President Aquino contested with the approval of solar and wind power plants with silly retorts such as “How will solar power work without the sun?” and “How will wind power work without the wind?”, I knew the country was doomed. Now there’s talk that the bus centipede -oh wait!- road train can improve traffic in the Philippines but I think that once again, Pinoys are missing the point.

What we really need is:

  • Get better maintenance crews for our MRTs and their terminals
  • Get better traffic management strategies applied by reliable and uncorrupt traffic enforcers (no Mar Roxas is NOT an example of the latter)
  • Deny driver’s licenses to arrogant Pinoy drivers like the Binays

32 Replies to “Road Trains: Another Band-Aid Solution for the Country’s Skull Fracture”

  1. Someone needs to watch this show to see how traffic can be managed.

    National Geographic TV Megastructures: Seoul: Unlocking The Grid

  2. While on the 2go ferry from Cebu to Manila this past February,I met several young people from Kenya,some were students attending school in Manila,while others were athletes who were running in some sort of marathon in Cebu city.To put it mildly,they were quite appalled at the laziness of filipinos,when it came to walking very short distances.”we walk everywhere in our country”they proclaimed…”we cant understand why nobody walks here”…. so there you have it in a nutshell,get up off your lazy asses and do some walking,its good for you,will help reduce traffic,and will good for the environment…besides,whats with all you idiots falling for the trappings of western culture,such as seeing an automobile as a status symbol? The auto dealers/manufacturers/banks must be laughing their asses off at you fools,who on earth buys a new car,only to sit idly in traffic for hours,getting nowhere??? I can’t believe the number of new cars i saw in Manila !! SUCKERS !!

    1. This is the most pedestrian-unfriendly country I’ve visited. Back home and when travelling, I used to love aimlessly walking around streets and parks, listening to audiobooks and podcasts, getting exercise and taking the place in. Here, between the poor-to-non-existent pavements, stressful crossings and hassle from beggars and taxis, walking is not a pleasure.

    2. Some say, its because of the heat and the dust.

      But in Marikina, it is a pleasure to walk around. At the same time, it is also a pleasure to drive around – because people are on the sidewalks and not hindering vehicles on the streets.

      From Lilac Street here, cross the short bridge and its Antipolo country. It suddenly becomes a jungle. Really sharp contrast, back to typical Pinas that we know. People have to walk on the road, dust gets inside your foot wear, stinky canal over there. Sidewalks? These have been converted to an extension of stall owners there, or have become a tricycle terminal. Very painful to drive around, very painful to walk around.

      So, its not really the heat nor the dust. In Marikina’s case – BF got it done.

      Sadly though, the current Marikina mayor is really hellbent on undoing BF’s legacy with his “Tao naman” campaign, translation – “Indigents naman”.

    3. I don’t know the pedestrian situation in Nairobi, but I’m gonna bet they have relatively decongested sidewalks, over- and underpasses kept in relatively good condition, and a working mass transportation system, all in a city that’s likely far less populous than Metro Manila.

      Your Kenyans are good at observing, but you’re the local — maybe try to reply?

      1. Well Im not really a local,but i have been travelling to philippines for over 20 yrs…My filipina wife and I spent 4 months living in Tarlac this past winter,we walked probably 2 or 3 miles a day,and yeah,it was a bit of a struggle…I turned my ankle several times due to the poor conditions…the incredulous looks we got from the locals,when we told them we would rather walk than ride in a tricycle were hilarious,as if walking was an entirely foreign concept,…indignant looks,contemptuous even…..GET UP OFF YOUR SILLY ASSES AND WALK….OH,and the way the busses stop for the convenience of the passengers,even if it is every fifty fucking feet,is really sad…GET REAL PHILIPPINES!!!!

        1. Worst are the parents who ride with babies and toddlers on motorbike taxis from their house down to the main road a few minutes’ walk away. And don’t bother protecting their vulnerable little heads with a helmet, because there aren’t police around to enforce it.

    4. people have an aversion to walking in this country. a lot of commuters actually insist on waiting/disembarking at the most unlikely and totally awkward and dangerous places you can think of for their personal convenience. this is also a place where life is risked 24/7 crossing four lanes instead of using an overpass.

    5. Congested roads and high traffic volume is a sign of a booming economy??? Booming for whom??? Auto manufacturers? Banks? Insurance companies? Does that money stay in the local economy? What about lost time/productivity due to sitting in traffic,and health care costs due to breathing all that shitty air?

      1. Agreed. A waste of time sitting in the jeepney doing nothing or probably surfing facebook. about 2.5 billion pesos is lost everyday due to the traffic problem.

  3. @Grimwald Good Point.

    I mean this would be impressive on paper but executing this as well will never work because of obvious Red Tape reasons!

    Our public transportation is so problematic to the point it is one pileup of problems.
    – No good mass transportation means more private cars
    – More private cars no more space in the roads which leads to traffic
    – Since the roads have never been maintained or upgraded to handle the growing mass means our economy will grind to a halt. (Why did Pnoy state that traffic leads to progress?)

    I maybe no expert about this subject but after playing SimCity and other City management games. Who knows what our country’s economy will end up in the distant decade as it may grind to a stop because of ‘Red Tape’ and ‘over complicating simple solutions’.

    Q to Grimwald: Is our country already in life support due to broken limbs, malfunctioning organs or some bad decisions?

    1. >> (Why did Pnoy state that traffic leads to progress?)

      Cos he’s a bit retarded?

      You’re talking about the guy who dismissed solar power out of hand because it gets dark at night.

  4. Traffic is sort of a sign of growing economy. People are going to their jobs, and jobs create money. People can now afford cars. Goods are being delivered to their destinations. Compare Manila to Detroit. However traffic is a sign of corruption. It is very easy to get hold of a franchise for bus operation here, to get hold of a license for an uneducated driver, to get hold of a permit for smoke-belching vehicles. Enforcers let loose of traffic violators after accepting bribes. Rampant colorum vehicles. Money placed in pockets of officials instead of improving transport infrastructure.

  5. If this will be applied, something must be sacrificed to make it work. Like reduction of other PUVs or private bus transport. Or there should be fixed-route services and control on how many vehicles should operate in a city. Also they could have made it a double-decker bus so it could carry more passengers. But it’s still best to have better road plans and state of the art passenger train.

  6. Why do you think the ph government will do this? they’re just too busy to deal with actual problems the Philippines is currently and will happen in the future.

  7. wtf dost? wasted precious research budget if you ask me! this thing shouldve been junked at its feasibility study stage pa lang.

  8. They cannot solve the Congested Traffic problem…because: they have no plans in the first place; and Aquino , Roxas and the DOT Secretary, are too incompetent for this job.

    There are too many cars/motor vehicles, on the road…it is the Filipino way of “Pasikat Mentality”…these cars are mostly “second, third,or fourth hands”, imported from Japan , Korea and other industrialized countries. What are to be thrown to the Scrap Yards, for Recycling are being sold in the Philippines.”Basta tumatakbo, puede”…”may car naman ako, pasikat sa mga bobits”…

    We are a dumping ground of “used or overly used vehicles, destined for Remelting…and they are clogging our roads…

  9. Road trains might work if properly implemented. I think government planners are trying to mimic what was implemented in Bogota, Columbia (not sure about this). The road train system was well implemented there and saved people time, money, and stress for a time. I say for a time as that project fell into disrepair due to political circumstances. Unfortunately, I’m thinking the implementation here will be typically half-assed and geared at scoring points for the next elections.

  10. What is the capacity of a road train? Assuming 120 pax? Compare if they were in 120 individual cars? That would be around 5 lanes x 24 rows of cars, or 120 meters worth of EDSA. Compare all that space to just one road train occupying just 1 lane.

    So you see, road trains are a solution. And it could be implemented really quickly. Let’s face reality here. MRT solution is still 7 mos away.

    BUT.. To make road trains really work, 1) It requires dedicated lanes. 2) It requires forcing people to adapt to it. 3) It requires penalizing people who refuse to adapt through: more expensive parking rates, toll fees, penalties if single passenger only, etc. 4) It requires giving incentives to people to adapt to using the road train.

    Sadly, no politician will risk earning the ire of motor heads through these measures because it is election season.

    I think Pinas needs a robotic apocalypse or an AI takeover for us to get our acts together.

      1. @Thaddeus:

        Hadron Collider requires a lot of spaces underground. Besides, they require a lot of Technical people, like: Theoretical Physicists, etc…to run it.

        Filipino brains are now drained by foreign countries. Some became OFW/economic refugees…only the YellowTards are left. It is dangerous for the YellowTards to run the Hadron Collider….the “atoms, protons, electrons”, may stray into the heads of our idiot politicians; making the country in a far worse situation…anyway, new element may be added in the Periodic Table…example: “YellowTardium” (Rare Earth Element)…this time Aquino shall get the “Nobel Prize”…

        1. that’s grim’s point. let’s put a malfunctioning LHC para pag sumabog kasama ang mga hayup na yan. diretso sa impyerno. lol!

  11. Instead of putting a Band Aid on your cut finger, why not just amputate at the elbow? See, I’m a problem solver. I should go into politics.

  12. All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem.

  13. This plus dedicated bus stops would be FTFW! I concur with what biffa bacon said. There’s a lot that you can juice out from the fact that people here in the Philippines choose to wait for a public transport to carry you from one place to somewhere ‘near’ rather than walk their ass off. That is soo true right there. That’s just too damn lazy and we all know what it has done. Lessening the traffic problem could spell great things for this country. I still cannot fathom how hard it is for the MMDA or whatever government body is tasked to take care of the traffic to implement a DEDICATED FUCKIN BUS STOP. If you try to hop on a helicopter and observe the traffic from above, MAJORITY of it is caused by a bottleneck from particular locations(you very well know which ones I am referring to).

    1. Filipinos are great imitators….why not go out into the more advanced countries and see how its done,and start implementing those policies at home.Theres no shame in that!You get out of your efforts what you put into them! Personally I love the Philippines for many reasons,and have hoped to retire there for a long time,but its the air quality in the in the cities thats holding me back !!!

      1. um .. no, Filipinos are the world’s WORST imitators (unlike, say, 1980s Japan). They take something potentially good, copy a bunch of superficial or irrelevant features, and then wonder why it doesn’t work.

        1. As mentioned before, they have an inherent reverse Midas Touch. Everything they handle turns to shit, despite good intentions.

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