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Harbour Point Jeepney Terminal

Myke May 16, 2017 5:48 PM


Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Philippines

Member Since 4/6/17

17 Posted Threads

8 Commendation

All of the traffic around the mall seemed to work very well leading up to Christmas 2016. That Christmas I remember it was like ‘Invasion of the Jeepney’s as the beaten up smoke blowing noisy eye-sores poured into base. I questioned the Police why SBFZ is suddenly allowing Jeepney’s in?… and generally the answer was “delivery sir”. They were everywhere, one even found its way into my quiet dead-end street, turned and came right up our private lane to our home! I felt like I should just ‘grin and bear it’ through Christmas thinking the ‘deliveries’ would be over soon.

You can probably tell that the writer does not like Jeepney’s and you are right. They are noise pollution and air pollution rolled into one, and terribly unsightly. The drivers rev the throttle loudly (for some reason) and flick cigarette buts everywhere. The passengers are constantly throwing trash out the sides into our streets. The passengers are crammed in together almost like prisoners of war. Jeepney’s are a great breeding and sharing place for every type of cold and flue, chicken pox and other anything else contagious. The operators drive aggressively and do not understand any road rules, they are arrogant as they surge from side roads into oncoming traffic to force in front of those who have right of way. They sneak up the right side of an orderly queue of cars waiting at a traffic light, forging there own lane and causing the car drivers that were patiently waiting to follow in order to compete with the queue-jumper.

Also, these old things are so dangerous - featuring slick-bald tires, worn out brakes and shock absorbers…. no chance of stopping for someone or something in the way, like an oncoming bus. Jeeps were left behind by the American army and converted into Jeepney’s. They are some 70 years old and symbolic of the Philippines inability to innovate, such as to move on to some of the many more transport technologies of today that have been available for decades already.

Christmas that year came and went, but the Jeepney’s did not. Now it seemed like they were really getting a footing. I noticed one operator decided to set up his own pick-up spot right at the front entrance of the offices. His barking for passengers and loading people inside Freeport is not allowed and someone shut him down before I could.

I got on SBMA Facebook and wrote up about it. They replied that they would address it and the amount of Jeeps in Freeport actually started to ease. Things were looking up, but then it happened, it went so very wrong…

Harbour Point shut down the very conveniently located transport terminal that was operating very well next door to the mall at the south end beside Jollie Bee, just across Magsaysay road on the Rizal Highway. It was perfect - access straight to the pedestrian crossing going in beach direction, the footbridge to Olongapo the other direction and a Jollie Bee and Ministop all right there. They proceeded to set up markets there instead, and moved the transport operation inside of the mall car-park at the north end.

This bought dozens of beaten-up buses, L300’s and Jeepney’s all inside the mall car park. This is near our offices and the traffic outside our building went into chaos overnight. Shoppers cars are now seeking a parking alternative across the road in our parking area. Now Harbour Point regularly feature their ‘Car Park Full’ sign …turning away people who own cars and were trying to attend to the mall for shopping.

Now the north end car park at strongly resembles the chaos that goes on outside the gates of Freeport. Beaten up Jeeps with drivers either sleeping or smoking, littering and barking for passengers and joking while standing in the way on the sidewalk. They stop and load passengers on what once was the pedestrian crossing. People are sitting or sleeping in shopping carts, it is ugly chaos.

Besides all this, the effect that this had on the shops in the mall was obvious. No longer could shoppers with cars get a car park, while thousands of the masses are bussed in and dropped at the mall entrance. They go in and enjoy looking around in the air-conditioning and the change appeared to benefit the high-turnover Filipino food restaurant chains, now all full all the time.

Although I noticed the up-market clothing and electronics shops suffer and start dropping like flies. I’ve seen about 20 shut-down since the change. If you walk through the mall counting shopping bags (one having made a purchase) you will pass about 100 people and see just one bag, then another 100 people and see another shopping bag. It wouldn't help that Harbour Point is hosting street-markets in the prior transport area, and also inside the mall. So the poor shop owners who are paying high rentals to Harbour Point in order to sell a pair of jeans for 900 Peso are now competing with a street market a few meters away who can sell them for 400 Peso. I know this first-hand, because at the market we bought kids clothes at 3 items for 100p, when before we would buy one item in the mall for 300p. Sounds good but it is not, because if you want stuff cheap anyone can walk across the footbridge for this in Olongapo city. I want a high-end mall back, then I can have the option of cheap or high quality.

Dear Harbour Point, can you please take the transport terminal out of the car park and put it back where it was, please?

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