MMDA hopes to enforce Edsa bus ban in August sans SC ruling

Robie de Guzman   •   July 26, 2019   •   2362

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is eyeing to enforce the ban on provincial buses along Edsa starting next month.

According to MMDA general manager Jojo Garcia, they hope to implement the long-planned policy in August while the Supreme Court (SC) has yet to resolve petitions filed against the bus ban.

The prohibition on provincial buses from plying along Edsa is the subject of three petitions filed before the SC. Petitioners alleged that the proposed policy is anti-poor and would greatly bring inconveniences to passengers.

“So as long as the court, hindi sinasabing itigil ‘yan tuloy-tuloy lang ‘yung plano namin, wala namang pumipigil eh,” he said.

The MMDA’s announcement comes after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) amended the routes of provincial buses plying Edsa.

READ: LTFRB amends routes of provincial buses plying Edsa

Under LTFRB’s Memorandum Circular 2019-031, all provincial buses from the north, whose terminals are located in Edsa, will temporarily stop at the Valenzuela Interim Terminal.

Buses coming from South Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, with terminals along Cubao, will end their trip at the Sta. Rosa Laguna Interim Terminal to load and unload passengers. But if their terminals are located in Edsa along Pasay City, they will alight passengers at the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).

The memorandum circular also stated that its provisions will only take effect upon closure of all public utility bus terminals along Edsa by concerned local government units, and the accreditation of the identified Interim Terminals.

The MMDA said they will start enforcing the bus ban as soon as the LTFRB’s guidelines on provincial buses become effective.

The agency is also set to coordinate with local government units next week on the closure and revocation of business permits of provincial bus terminals along Edsa.

In line with the targeted enforcement of bus ban, the MMDA is planning to conduct another dry run next week.

Violators of the policy will be apprehended during the dry-run, according to Garcia.

“Dry run kami pero may huli,” he said. (with details from Joan Nano)

Mass transport highway, express bus lane: proposed to solve EDSA traffic

Maris Federez   •   September 16, 2019

A lawmaker in the Lower House has proposed to dedicate an express bus lane, while another suggested reserving certain hours for mass transportations only along EDSA to solve the perennial traffic in Metro Manila’s major thoroughfare.

According to the data of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the average vehicular volume on EDSA is more than 400,000 every day and it is expected to increase further by 15 to 20% these BER-months.

House Committee on Transportation chairman Edgar Sarmiento suggested dedicating the innermost lane of EDSA as an express bus lane for those who will ride the MRT.

Three lanes will be allocated to private vehicles, while the outer lane will be for passenger buses that will stop in designated loading and unloading areas only.

These buses will be allowed to queue in for pick up and drop off of Metro Manila-bound passengers at the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange and the Valenzuela Gateway Complex Terminal.

Sarmiento said this scheme will prevent bus drivers from over-speeding and from overstaying in loading and unloading areas and cause traffic congestion.

“We propose this to eradicate the kanya-kanya system of the buses wherein they compete with each other creating chaos through overtaking, overspeeding, and overstaying,” Sarmiento said.

Meanwhile, Caloocan representative Edgar Erice has proposed the dedication of mass transport highway which aimed at giving priorities to public commuters.

Under his proposal, private vehicles will be off-limit along EDSA on certain hours every day.

“Dapat yung limang lanes ng EDSA from 6 to 9am at 6 to 9pm dedicated lang sa mga public utility vehicles [The five lanes on EDSA shall be dedicated only to public utility vehicles from 6:00 to 9:00am and at 6:00 to 9:00pm],” he stated.

With the 6-to-9-scheme, private car owners will have the option to use alternative roads, leave the house earlier than usual, take the bus, or take EDSA only after 9 o’clock.

The MMDA said it welcomes the said proposals.

“Ito yung pro commuter talaga; para sa mga ordinaryo nating mamamayan na mas mapabilis yung byahe nila. Ngayon, pagdating sa private may mga alternatibo naman sabi nga ni Cong Erice [This is really pro-commuter; for the ordinary people to have faster travel experience. Now, when it comes to private (car owners), there are alternatives as what Cong. Erice said],” according to MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia.

These suggestions, as well as the others, will go thru the MMDA’s engineering team for further study and screening for the selection of the feasible solutions for EDSA traffic.

The selected suggestions will be submitted to the Metro Manila Council meeting in October. (from the report of Vincent Arboleda) /mbmf

LIST: Weekend road repairs, reblocking in Metro Manila

Robie de Guzman   •   September 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Several roads in Metro Manila will be closed to motorists starting Friday night to give way to the scheduled weekend road repairs and reblocking, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced.

In an advisory, the MMDA said repair works on the following roads will begin at 11 p.m. (Sept. 13) until 5 a.m. (Sept. 16):

SOUTHBOUND:

  • EDSA-Bansalangin to North Avenue (U-turn), 5th lane from sidewalk
  • EDSA-Magallanes-Baclaran Bus Stop to Magallanes-Alabang Bus Stop
  • C-5 Road near Market Market Mall
  • C-5 Road in front of Palar Village in Taguig City

EASTBOUND:

  • Quirino Highway-Salvia Street to before Belfast Road (outer lane)
  • Elliptical Road after Maharlika Street (8th lane from outer sidewalk)

WESTBOUND

  • General Luis Street-Rebisco Road to SB Road


NORTHBOUND:

  • Bonifacio Ave. near Selecta Drive (1st lane from sidewalk)
  • Batasan/ San Mateo Rd. in front of Petron (1st lane from center island)
  • EDSA Main Ave. to before P. Tuazon tunnel (1st lane from the sidewalk)
  • Katipunan Avenue/C-5 Road after CP Garcia St. (truck lane)

Affected motorists are advised to avoid the said areas and use alternate routes instead.

MMDA warns public of heavier ‘ber’ months traffic

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 12, 2019

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) warns the public of heavier traffic in Metro Manila during ‘ber’ months.

The MMDA expects the volume of vehicles to increase by us much as 20% in October. Based on their data, around 410,000 vehicles have been traversing EDSA in the past few days.

According to MMDA EDSA Traffic Head Bong Nebrija, this is higher than the recorded volume of vehicles in December last year.

“Halimbawa na lang kung ang isang bote ay may kapasidad na 268 [thousand] tapos lalagyan ng 410 [thousand], ay imaginin niyo na lang ang mangyayari, (For example, a bottleneck has a capacity of 268 [thousand cars] then you will place 410 [thousand]. Imagine what will happen)” he said.

MMDA Spokesperson Celine Pialago assured the Mabuhay Lanes are free of obstruction.

“Iyong mga Mabuhay Lanes po namin sustained and maintained by MMDA. Okay naman po iyon, wala namang obstruction iyon na nakikita niyo 24/7, (Our Mabuhay Lanes are sustained and maintained by MMDA. [The roads] are okay, there are obstructions. You can see it 24/7)” she said.

Meanwhile, local government units (LGU) continue to conduct road clearing operations to maintain roads in the National Capital Region.—AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda).

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