MMDA defends implementation of provincial bus ban on EDSA

Maris Federez   •   August 13, 2019   •   364

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) believes that the full implementation of the provincial bus ban along EDSA is a big help in easing the traffic in Metro Manila.

MMDA data shows around 6,500 buses pass thru the yellow lane along EDSA; 3,500 of which are provincial buses.

MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia admitted at Thursday’s Senate inquiry that the past dry run on provincial bus ban was a failure.

The yellow lane and failed dry run of provincial bus ban are now being blamed for the worsening traffic, particularly that of last week’s traffic situation.

To which Garcia took on the defense, saying: “Na-highlight lang ng media kasi nga palpak yung dry run, so sabi nga namin, palpak ang dry run dahil walang nakisali, siguro out of 100 operators, five lang (the dry run failed and media highlighted it. The dry run failed because no one cooperated. Let’s say, out of 100, only 5 joined [the dry run]).

Garcia also denied allegations that they were experimenting with EDSA’s traffic situation, saying they were just implementing what was then the practice of the past administration.

Senate Committee on Public Services Chair, Senator Grace Poe, said there was lack of consultation on the MMDA’s part.

Poe said, “Imbes na i-ban ninyo agad, bakit hindi kayo kumuha ng mga inter modal terminals within strategic areas dun sa may EDSA kung tatanggalin ninyo ang 43 or 45 provincial terminals along EDSA [Instead of immediate banning, why didn’t you come up with inter-modal terminals within strategic areas on EDSA if you are going to remove 43 to 45 provincial terminals along EDSA]?

Senate President Vicente Sotto III also proposed the implementation of an extensive No Parking Zone in Metro Manila.

“Ang talagang solusyon [The real solution} to decongest EDSA is no parking in Metro Manila,” Sotto said.

Sotto also hinted at transferring the government agencies outside of Metro Manila.

Meanwhile, the MMDA will wait for the result of the motion for reconsideration they filed regarding the Quezon City Regional Trial Court’s decision that suspends the provincial bus ban.

For now, MMDA said they will strictly implement the clearing operations in the alternate routes in Metro Manila. (with reports from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

MMDA to conduct traffic simulations for SEA Games

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 12, 2019

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will conduct a traffic simulation for the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games on November 14.

MMDA Spokesperson Celine Pialago said to expect a traffic build-up during the simulation as well as during the rehearsal of the SEA Games on November 26.

“May konting pagtigil sa regular na pagdaloy ng trapiko. Kapag malapit na ititigil mo na so magtataka iyong mga kababayan natin ‘bakit kami tinitigil?’ So ibig sabihin po noon may paparating pong convoy (There is a slight changes in the regular traffic flow. Once the convoy is near, traffic will be stopped. Our motorists would ask why, well it means that they convoy is on its way),” she said.

This is to test out the bus convoys of the athletes and delegates who will attend the SEA Games from November 30 to December 11.

The simulation will begin from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

From hotels in Tagaytay, Pasay, and Manila, the convoy will traverse EDSA, North Luzon Expressway and other main roads in Metro Manila before arriving at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.

Here are the following roads that will be affected by the simulation:

  • EDSA Northbound lane
  • Mindanao Avenue
  • North Avenue
  • Quirino Avenue
  • Pasay Avenue
  • Taft Avenue
  • Magallanes
  • South Luzon Expressway
  • North Luzon Expressway

The MMDA will implement the Stop and Go scheme for the affected roads in Metro Manila.

The convoy will pass through the yellow lane and there will be no special lane provided for them. No roads will be closed during the simulation, according to the MMDA.—AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

MMDA to run after errant public bus drivers

Robie de Guzman   •   November 5, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Tuesday said it will run after public utility bus (PUB) drivers who have committed hundreds of traffic violations since 2006.

MMDA general manager Jojo Garcia said they were able to account for more than 1,700 PUB drivers based on its database.

The list of names of these drivers has already been turned over to the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

Garcia said that based on MMDA records, one bus driver alone has committed 533 violations, including obstruction, disregarding traffic sign, loading/unloading, yellow lane, and open door.

“I was alarmed over these erring PUB drivers, so I immediately coordinated with the LTO. We will strictly enforce Republic Act 4136 against errant drivers,” he told reporters in a briefing Tuesday.

Under RA 4136, also known as the Land Transportation and Traffic Code of the Philippines, a driver who commits the same violations at least three times in a year may face automatic suspension of his/her license for at least one to two years.

The MMDA said the PNP-Highway Patrol Group Traffic Enforcement Unit will apprehend the suspended PUB drivers once the list comes out.

The LTO, for its part, assured the public that due process will be observed in dealing with these traffic law violators.

“Our aim is to instill discipline among the PUB drivers. Also, this is for the safety of passengers,” Garcia said.

He also warned bus operators against hiring PUB drivers with numerous traffic violations.

“Please exercise extra-ordinary diligence in hiring a PUB driver or else we will impound your vehicle,” he said.

The agency said it is currently scrutinizing records of public utility vehicle drivers’ traffic violations from 2018 up to present.

Copies of these records will be submitted to the LTO for proper action.

MMDA braces for heavier traffic on Undas break

Robie de Guzman   •   October 28, 2019

Vehicles are stuck in traffic at a street in Divisoria, Manila, Philippines. EPA-EFE/MARK R. CRISTINO

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Monday warned the public to expect heavier traffic volume during the observance of Undas.

The MMDA said the traffic is anticipated to buildup on Thursday, Oct. 31 as motorists usually begin their travel to provinces a day before the Undas weekend commences.

“Kailangan ng kooperasyon, magbaon po ng mahabang pasensya. Alam niyo po yung pag-exit pa lang ng Metro Manila, expect a build-up in Magallanes and in Balintawak and in Mindanao avenue,” MMDA EDSA traffic chief Edison “Bong” Nebrija told reporters.

To accommodate the influx of passengers going to and coming from provinces during this season, the MMDA announced earlier the suspension of number coding scheme for all public and private vehicles on November 1.

Coding for provincial passenger buses is lifted on Oct. 31 and November 4.

Around 2,300 MMDA personnel will be deployed in key thoroughfares, transport hubs and major cemeteries of Metro Manila from October 30 to November 4 to assist travelers, and ensure orderliness in roads and sidewalks.

Earlier in the day, MMDA traffic law enforcers were fielded in bus ports in Cubao in Quezon City for the strict implementation of the nose in, nose out policy to prevent traffic gridlock.

They also reprimanded drivers of taxis and buses loading and offloading passengers in undesignated areas.

Aside from manning traffic and road clearing operations, the MMDA will also collect garbage from cemeteries before and after November 1. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

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