MMDA Suspends Dry Run of Provincial Bus Terminal Closure
The dry run for the provincial bus ban along EDSA has been suspended.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Jojo Garcia announced the move as the MMDA, Department of Transportation (DOTr), and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) have yet to meet on the matter.
“We will continue with the dry run once the guidelines and implementing rules have been ironed out by the three agencies involved,” Garcia said.
Garcia also said that the policy might be politicized as the country is just a week away from the midterm elections.
Last week, Garcia said that among their agenda is the cutting of the franchise route or line of provincial buses up to the interim terminals in Santa Rosa, Laguna and Valenzuela City and the extension of the route of city buses to ensure ease of travel among commuters.
“We want to ensure the availability of city buses that will pick up passengers from the interim terminals before we conduct the dry run on the use of the terminals,” said Garcia after the Metro Manila Council (MMC) meeting held at the MMDA headquarters today.
During the MMC meeting, representatives from the 17 local government units in Metro Manila and DOTR’s Mark Richmund De Leon, assistant secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure, have committed to support the closure of the bus terminals on EDSA.
Garcia cited that the LTFRB, a line-agency of the DOTR, has the authority to approve or revise the routes of the buses while the MMDA will handle the enforcement.
Garcia expressed optimism that the move would decongest EDSA, particularly the yellow lane for the city buses.
Of the 12,000 passenger buses that are plying within the National Capital Region, 8,000 are provincial buses while the remaining 4,000 are city buses.
Aside from city buses, Garcia said they are eyeing the deployment of point-to-point buses (P2P) buses to replace provincial buses.
“We shall have the same number of provincial buses. Some provincial buses will only be converted to P2P since they have baggage compartments,” explained Garcia.
The MMDA is targeting the closure of 46 bus terminals along EDSA by June. In line with this, the implementation of the ‘no loading and unloading’ policy along Edsa for provincial buses remains.