Provincial bus ban on EDSA to take effect Aug. 15

By Aerol John Pateña

July 27, 2018, 7:16 pm

MANILA -- The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will implement the ban on provincial buses on Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) starting August 15.

The policy aims to ease the travel congestion along the major thoroughfare by reducing the number of provincial buses.

MMDA general manager Jojo Garcia said the ban, initially scheduled on August 1, will be enforced the whole day instead of the morning and afternoon rush hours.

“Ang permanent solution natin diyan kapag naipatayo na ang mga permanent terminals outside Metro Manila talagang totally banned na ang provincial buses sa Metro Manila. Kasi iyan naman talaga ang design niyan ang talagang papasok diyan ang mga city buses. (The permanent solution once these terminals are in place outside Metro Manila, provincial buses are now banned in Metro Manila. It is really designed that city buses are those only to be allowed to traverse along the major roads),” Garcia said in a press briefing Friday.

The agency has earlier said northbound and southbound provincial buses will be banned on EDSA from Pasay City to Cubao at 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. during weekdays.

Garcia said the traffic scheme is in line with the intermodal transport system being proposed by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila.

Under this system, provincial buses will no longer be allowed to traverse along major roads in Metro Manila. Terminals will be installed outside the metropolis as these buses and passengers will be linked to other modes of public transportation such as city buses, jeepneys, taxis, among others.

Three bus terminals are set to be operational in various parts of Metro Manila --the bus terminal in Valenzuela that is set to be operational in August; the Parañaque 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.

Garcia said they will meet with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) next week on the changes of routes of provincial buses coming from the north and south.

“There are some lines that we need to modify for the convenience of the passengers. We will discuss the routes with LTFRB officials on Monday,” Garcia said.

He said MMDA is eyeing to ban select provincial bus routes on EDSA from Balintawak to Magallanes with the opening of Valenzuela Interim Terminal.

“The route of select provincial buses coming from the north has to end at the Valenzuela terminal. However, nothing is final yet. We have yet to identify and recommend the routes,” Garcia said.

Provincial buses coming from the south that do not have terminals in Pasay City would be directed to use the agency-operated Southwest Interim Provincial Terminal (SWIPT) located along HK Sun Plaza in Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard.

The MMDA is currently conducting its dry run of the provincial bus ban from July 24 until August 14.

A total of 477 provincial buses have been flagged down and received warning as of July 27. (PNA)