Hickman, Robin, Neil Stephen Lopez, Mengqiu Cao, Beatriz Mella Lira, & J.B. Manuel Biona (2018, May). “I drive outside of peak time to avoid traffic jams—Public transport Is not Attractive Here”: Challenging discourses on travel to the University campus in Manila. Sustainability, 10(5), art. 1462 (doi: 10.3390/su10051462)

Abstract: One of the major narratives in transport policy internationally concerns the promotion of private versus public modes. The Global North has many examples where public transport, walking and cycling networks are well developed, yet examples from the Global South are less evident. There is a historical failure of replicating policies and practices from the Global North, particularly in perpetuating the highway building model, often unsuitable to the cultural contexts in the Global South. This paper examines individual attitudes and discourses concerning travel to De La Salle University campus, in Metro Manila, the Philippines. 42 participants are surveyed using Q methodology. Four discourses are developed, reflecting attitudes to growing automobility in Manila, public transport service provision, the difficulties of travelling in the city and the aspiration for increased comfort whilst travelling. Manila provides an example of the complexities in moving towards greater sustainable travel in the southeast Asian context where levels of private car usage are already high. It is hoped that a greater awareness of the problems of the current travel experiences might lead to us to seek different narratives, where transport systems can be developed which better serve social equity and environmental goals.

Robin Hickman <r.hickman@ucl.ac.uk> is in the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, UK.

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