MMDA postpones start of Edsa ban during rush hour for provincial buses

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LAST STOP The Valenzuela Interim Terminal will soon be the final stop for Metro passengers coming from the north.—NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

A plan to ban provincial buses on Edsa has been postponed anew in the absence of clearer guidelines and a delay in the completion of a terminal where all passengers are supposed to be dropped off, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said on Thursday.

In an interview during an ocular inspection of the Valenzuela Interim Terminal in Valenzuela City, MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia cited the need to delay the implementation of the policy for the third time.

The Metro Manila Council composed of the metropolis’ 17 mayors had already green-lighted the traffic-mitigating measure. Garcia said it might be enforced by the end of the month.

Initially set for Aug. 15, the proposed plan would prohibit provincial buses from traversing the metro’s busiest thoroughfare from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. on weekdays.

Instead, provincial buses arriving from the north should end their trips at the Valenzuela Interim Terminal, while those from the south would drop off all their passengers at the Southwest Integrated Provincial Transport System in Parañaque City.

The partial and temporary ban on provincial buses was originally set on July 15. It was  reset to Aug. 1 following passengers’ complaints about being inconvenienced.

Traffic solution

Garcia, however, remained optimistic that the ban would help decongest traffic on Edsa.

Around 300,000 vehicles pass through the thoroughfare every day but only 7,000 to 8,000 are provincial buses or around 2 percent of the total vehicular volume.

Garcia said the ban was just one of the many traffic-mitigating measures the agency was pushing forward.

Another was the implementation of high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes which would ban driver-only vehicles on Edsa during rush hour.

MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago clarified that the HOV lane policy was approved only “in principle” as the agency has yet to come up with implementing rules and regulations.

“There’s nothing (ironclad) yet but the idea has been approved. We are still being asked to submit proposals on the guidelines like what the penalties should be, what the rush hours are [and if it] will affect the entire stretch of Edsa,” she said. –By: Krixia Subingsubing



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