Regulation of provincial buses along EDSA starts August: MMDA

MANILA The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said northbound and southbound provincial buses will be banned along EDSA from Pasay City up to Cubao in Quezon City from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. during weekdays starting August.

A dry run for the bus regulation is set on July 24.

The MMDA has earlier said that the ban on provincial buses for certain hours of the day along EDSA will start on July 15.

Based on the earlier guidelines, all provincial buses traveling along EDSA from Pasay City up to Cubao are banned from 5 a.m. until 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. from Monday to Friday. Violators will be fined PHP2,000.

The changes were agreed during an emergency meeting with provincial bus operators and other stakeholders recently, MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said during a press briefing Wednesday afternoon.

The agency expects that the agreed scheme will reduce the number of provincial buses plying along the major thoroughfare by 2,000 once implemented.

Provincial buses along EDSA will be exempted from the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVRP) or number coding scheme, while those coming from the south that do not have terminals in Pasay City may use the Southwest Interim Provincial Terminal (SWIPT) located along HK Sun Plaza along Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard.

The MMDA will be coordinating with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to reduce the fares of the provincial buses.

The regulation will be effective until the three bus terminals in various parts of Metro Manila will be operational. These are the bus terminal in Valenzuela that is set to be operational in August; the ParaAaque Integrated Terminal Exchange, which is set to open in September and the bus terminal in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, which is expected to open in December this year.

The terminals are part of the multimodal transportation system being proposed by the Department of Transportation, which seeks to reduce the number of provincial buses plying along Metro Manila's major roads.

The bus regulation along EDSA was approved by the Metro Manila Council (MMC) in order to mitigate the impact on the traffic situation of the simultaneous road works that are set to start within the second half of this year.

Among these projects are the North Luzon Expressway Drainage Enhancement Project along A. Bonifacio Road beginning July 1; the construction of an elevated guideway for the Metro Rail Transit 7 (MRT-7) along North Avenue beginning July 2; an emergency leak repair on a large mainline along EDSA-Shaw Boulevard area starting July 7; and the replacement of Buendia Bridge, also beginning next month. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency