The Metro Manila Development Authority will close all bus terminals located along Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue in June, after the Holy Week, as part of government’s effort to address traffic in Metro Manila.
MMDA general manager Jojo Garcia said the agency has already coordinated with local government units to stop issuing business permits to bus firms to operate bus terminals along EDSA.
He said the removal of bus terminals is expected to reduce the number of provincial buses plying Metro Manila, specifically along Roxas Boulevard, Pasay, and EDSA-Taft area, and will provide connectivity between different transport modes and services, allowing efficient and seamless travel for the riding public.
“We have already coordinated with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board [LTFRB] and the Department of Transportation [DOTr] on the closure of terminals after Holy Week,” he said.
The MMDA, LTFRB and the Department of Transportation held a meeting with regards to the closure of bus terminals along EDSA, based on the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte that provincial bus terminals along Edsa be closed.
“It’s about time to close the bus terminals along EDSA because it contributes to at least 20 percent of the traffic in Metro Manila,” he said.
Garcia said they will start a dry-run of the bus terminal closures after Holy Week, as he clarified that it would be a “dry-run,” as thousands of passengers would still use the terminals because of the long vacation.
“We do not want to be hasty and careless as many passengers will be using the terminals before and after the Holy Week,” he said.
The closure of the Edsa bus terminals is expected to address traffic congestion in Metro Manila as some provincial buses tend to load and unload passengers along major thoroughfares.
“Several bus terminals are now being constructed for provincial buses at the south and north of Metro Manila such as in Valenzuela City and in Sta. Rosa, Laguna,” MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim said.
He said the local government units will play a crucial role on the removal of the terminals since they are the ones issuing the business permits needed to operate the business establishments.
Meanwhile, the MMDA also reiterated that the “no window hours” policy for number coding scheme is in effect on all major roads and Mabuhay Lane routes, and warned to apprehend violators.
In meeting with officials of the Metro Manila Council (MMC), Garcia made the clarification following erroneous rules on traffic number coding scheme have circulated online and created confusion among motorists.
The MMC, composed of Metro Mayors, is the policy-making and governing body of the MMDA.
“We have agreed to standardize the “no window hours” scheme on national roads and roads listed as Mabuhay Lane,” Garcia said in the meeting attended by representatives from 17 local government units in Metro Manila.
Garcia said members of the MMC have agreed also to amend their existing number coding schemes and traffic code implemented in their jurisdiction.
He said the “no window hours” will reduce at least 20 percent of cars along these roads, adding the MMDA has already has coordinated with the MMC to effectively continue to implement the no winod hours along major road and Mabuhay lane routes.
The MMDA again appealed to motorists for their patience and understanding.
The Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) or the number coding scheme is enforced during weekdays from 7 am to 8 pm on major thoroughfares in Metro Manila, including EDSA.
Under the scheme, vehicles banned on a certain day of the week depending on their licensed plate or conduction sticker ending digits cannot traverse major thoroughfares and Mabuhay lane routes for any hours between 7 am and 8 pm.
“Effective immediately, MMDA traffic enforcers will apprehend violators on national roads while counterpart traffic enforcers of local government units will do the apprehension in their jurisdiction,” said added.