January 27, 2024 (8:07 PM)

4 min read


TRANSITION. In preparation for the Davao Bus Project, Placemaking Davao, in partnership with Davao City’s local government unit (LGU), conducts a survey to understand the commuter experience better and gather feedback on the potential bus stop designs. Photo by Heart Gacayan

Amidst local drivers’ resistance to implementing the Davao Bus Project, Davao-based community designers spearheaded a designer talk and a pop-up installation of future bus stops that aim to bring comfort and safety to Davaoeños. 

In collaboration with the Local Government Unit of Davao, Placemaking Davao discussed the future designs of the bus stops with tactical urbanism, a practical approach in design that is low-cost and will serve immediate change that improves urban spaces.

The bus stop comprises re-used scaffolding bars and fabric shades that shelter the waiting commuters. It’s surrounded by plantar boxes of recycled plastic plant pots that fill the landscape with greenery. It also has a flexible space that can cater to many commuters, where the seats are divided into bus-like and jeep-like benches that emulate the feel of the two different public transportations.

TACTICAL URBANISM. Project Lugar Lang! launches pop-up installations of potential bus stop designs for participants to engage with. Photo by Heart Gacayan

Project Architect Harold Delima stated that the “Lugar Lang!” pop-up installation is “a take on the jeepney culture transitioning to a bus system.”

“…when you look at the physical installation, you’ll see on the right side, the modules are related to jeepney culture, [and] the local context of Davao city right now. And then it’s transitioning, or should we say evolving to a bus system,” Delima told Atenews. 

However, in line with the transition, the Davao-based transport group Transmission-PISTON called for an inclusive approach as the modernization program will hurt small operators in the city. PISTON Davao clamors for jeepney rehabilitation to meet the environmental standards set for Public Utility Vehicles (PUV) instead of replacing them with buses. 

Last December 27, 2023, jeepney routes in the city were paralyzed as a protest from the local jeepney drivers in the impending phaseout of PUV, including jeepneys. 

LGU guarantees aid for affected Jeepney drivers amid modernization plan

Communications lead for the Davao Bus Project Team under the City Government of Davao, Jesha Opiana, stated that the city government will support those affected by the transition through social development programs. 

COLLABORATION. In line with the bus stop installations, a representative from Davao City’s LGU explains the transition phase of the city’s commute system from jeepneys to buses. Photo by Heart Gacayan

“Under the Bus Project, we have the social development program aspect of this project, which involves preparatory programs along with financial and non-financial assistance given to all affected people, including operators, operator drivers, drivers, and allied workers and their families,” Opiana said in an interview with Atenews. 

“The City Government of Davao, through the Davao Bus Project, will make sure that these drivers, operators, and all project-affected persons will not be left behind,” she added. Opiana mentioned that those inquiring about the social development program can directly go to the Davao Bus Project office in Door 7, Ramon Magsaysay Ave, Ramon Magsaysay Park, Davao City.

However, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), a mass organization in coordination with Transmission PISTON, spokesperson Rauf Sissay told Atenews in an interview last December that the initiatives by the LGU are not long-term solutions.

“Kami naman sa part ng BAYAN at PISTON, hindi long term solusyon ang livelihood project or services. Hindi tayo siguro kung sustainable pa ang ganitong programa o taon-taon ba may budget or baka prone to budget cuts. Nag-iiba ang priority ng mayor,” Sissay said.

“…dapat talaga pag may plano ang local government o kahit anong ahensiya ng gobyerno dapat involved talaga ang mga affected communties or affected stakeholders para maka-craft ng responsive na mga programa,” Sissay added.  

The pop-up installation is available in front of Ateneo Davao University CCFC gate, Roxas Avenue, Davao City, from January 26-27, 2024.

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