Rider-centric analysis of Public Utility Vehicle route modernization in the National Capital Region
The primary reason for traffic congestion is the sheer number of vehicles using roads. Private vehicles contribute to a significant volume of traffic, and encouraging public transport use can reduce the number of cars on roads and thus alleviate congestion. In 2020, the LTFRB proposed a new set of public transport routes with reduced route lengths. Route design for cities presents challenges, as routes should ideally improve transport coverage and trip frequency without worsening commuter experience. We evaluated public transportation in Metro Manila through a hybrid network‒GIS perspective that allowed us to use a traveler-centric approach. We compared these new routes with the old routes before the route modernization and found a reduction in the number of trips completed in 2-or-less rides (92.6% vs. 96.2%), with 19.1% of trips have increased transfers and 8.14\% have decreased transfers. Our analysis shows that these proposed routes inadvertently result in a degradation of the rider experience. We recommend improving walking conditions by designing pedestrian-friendly infrastructure to complement the added inconvenience of transfers.