MMDA advises motorists, commuters to prefer carpooling on holiday week

Marje Pelayo   •   December 16, 2019   •   1008

MANILA, Philippines – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) assures of enough number of public utility buses this holiday week for passengers bound for the provinces.

The agency has approved special permits to provincial buses bound for provinces in nearby areas in Northern and Southern Luzon, Bicol and in areas in Visayas and Mindanao.

The special permit will take effect from December 23 to January 3, 2020.

LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra reminds bus operators of the standard protocol on drivers for province bound buses.

Bus firm must ensure that they have substitute drivers for trips six hours and longer for safety of the passengers and the drivers themselves.

“Whatever be the case, we always remind them […] be mindful of the road rules and regulations and be mindful of the safety of the passengers,” Delgra emphasized.

Now that more buses will ply the roads during the holiday week, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) advised private motorists to brace for heavier traffic situation.

“Kasi ayaw nilang magbayad ng (they refuse to pay for) terminal fee so that’s what they do. They crawl EDSA,” MMDA’s Traffic Chief Edison Nebrija observed of bus drivers.

“Nagba-barker ang konduktor (bus conductors would try) getting chance passengers. Hindi naman namin pwedeng payagan iyan (But we will not allow that) because they will delay the flow of traffic,” he added.

Aside from bus drivers getting unruly on EDSA, last minute shoppers also add to the traffic jam, Nebrija said.

“The week before Christmas iyan ang peak ng traffic because iyan na ang Christmas rush na tinatawag. Lahat nag-a-apura na mamimili (The week before Christmas is the peak of traffic because of the so-called Christmas rush. Everyone is on a rush shopping),” he said.

To help ease traffic, the MMDA encourages carpooling for travel convenience.

Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) launched today the Oplan Byaheng Ayos to ensure that strict monitoring and security is enforced in bus terminals, seaports and airports to maintain smooth travel this holiday season.

The program remains effective until January 5, 2020.

PUV operators ask LTFRB to remove P5,000 penalty vs drivers for not wearing facemasks while on duty

Maris Federez   •   February 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila jeepney operators asked the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to remove the P5,000.00 fine being imposed on public utility vehicles (PUV) drivers for not wearing facemasks while on transport.

Under the LTFRB memorandum circular 2020-05, drivers and operators are required to wear facemasks as part of their safety precaution against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Alliance of Concerned Transport Operators (ACTO) President Efren de Luna said they are always ready to take heed on the said measure, except that they are having difficulty finding available face masks in the market.

“Ang problema ho dun walang mabilhan, pag walang raw hong mask, may bayad ng 5000, may fine na penalty na P5,000,” de Luna said.

He pointed out that even the Department of Health has advised that due to the shortage in the supply of facemasks, priority is given to health workers and patients on its usage.

The LTFRB, on the other hand, said during the hearing at the House Committee on Transportation that it will review the said measure and will take the request into consideration. — (from the report of Vincent Arboleda) /mbmf

MMDA to implement traffic adjustments in Alabang, EDSA Balintawak starting Feb. 14

Robie de Guzman   •   February 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will implement traffic adjustments and traffic rerouting starting February 14, Friday in areas along Alabang in Muntinlupa City and Balintawak in Quezon City to give way to the ongoing construction of Skyway Extension and Skyway Stage 3 projects.

In an advisory, the MMDA said that beginning 11 p.m. Friday, one lane closure will be implemented on EDSA Balintawak Northbound towards North Luzon Expressway to give way to the erection of vertical bridge support under the EDSA Bridge as part of the Skyway Stage 3 project.

Light vehicles going to NLEX and Monumento are advised take the Balintawak Interchange ramp going to Cubao and take the U-turn slot after Cloverleaf Market going to NLEX.

Meanwhile, two lanes will be closed on EDSA Balintawak going to Cubao on Sunday, February 16 for the erection of interconnection flatform tower on top of EDSA Bridge.

Light vehicles coming from Monumento via EDSA before reaching Balintawak may turn right to A. de Jesus St. then left to C3 to destination.

The MMDA said the lane closures will be until March 5.

The agency also announced that starting 6 a.m. of February 16, one-way traffic scheme for southbound vehicles will be implemented in West Service Road of South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) from Alabang Hills to Alabang Zapote Road to give way to the construction of Skyway Extension from Hillsborough to Filinvest Exit.

Skyway-Hillsborough off-ramp will be closed to traffic, and Class 2 vehicles such as buses and delivery vans from Magallanes to Alabang are not allowed along the elevated Skyway.

One-way traffic will also be implemented on Northbound lane of Alabang temporary Steel Ramp from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m., daily.

The MMDA said the same traffic scheme will also be implemented along Skyway from Sucat Interchange to Alabang-Zapote Road and on Southbound lane of Alabang temporary Steel Ramp daily from 9 a.m. to 5 a.m. of the following day.

The agency said the construction will last for three months.

Affected vehicles northbound are advised to take the Alabang via-duct at grade level.

Further, girders will also be launched along A. Bonifacio where one lane going to NLEX will remain passable and two lanes for those going to Manila for eight nights from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on February 22 to 29.

Motorists are advised to take the following alternate routes:

1.     Light vehicles going to NLEX and Monumento may take the Balintawak Interchange ramp going to Cubao and take the U-turn slot after Cloverleaf Market going to NLEX.

2.     Light vehicles going to Novaliches and NLEX may take zipper lane at the left immediately before the construction site towards destination.

3.     Light vehicles from NLEX (going to Manila/Caloocan) may take the Balintawak Interchange Ramp going to Monumento via EDSA then left to A. De Jesus St. then left to C3 to destination.


The MMDA said the construction will last for 21 days or until March 5.

The Skyway Stage 3 is a 14.8-kilometer elevated tollway project which connects Skyway/SLEX Buendia to NLEX Balintawak while the Skyway Extension project extends the existing toll road to Susana Heights/Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway.

Both the Skyway Stage 3 and Skyway Extension Projects are part of the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program.

Sevilla Bridge in Mandaluyong closed to traffic on February 8

Robie de Guzman   •   February 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Sevilla Bridge in Mandaluyong will be closed to vehicular traffic at 10 p.m. on Saturday, February 8, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced Friday.

In an advisory, the MMDA said this is to give way to the movement of the equipment, including barges and cranes, downstream by the contractor for the Skyway Stage 3 project.

The agency advised affected motorists to expect traffic slow down and to take alternate routes.

The bridge, which connects the cities of Mandaluyong and San Juan, will reopen on Sunday, February 9 at 5 a.m.

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