By Jel Santos
The ban on provincial buses along EDSA will take effect on August 1 instead of July 15, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced recently.
Jose Arturo Garcia, MMDA’s general manager, said the northbound and southbound provincial buses are banned from travelling along EDSA from Pasay City until Cubao in Quezon City, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.on weekdays.
“We changed the date of implementation to August 1. The changes were agreed during an emergency meeting with provincial bus operators and other stakeholders recently,” he said in a press conference.
On July 24, during President Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), Garcia said the MMDA will do a dry run of the ban to test its effectivity.
Meantime, the MMDA clarified that only those provincial buses traversing EDSA are exempted from the United Vehicular Volume Reduction Program or number coding scheme as an incentive.
“Provincial buses plying C5 Road, streets of Manila, and elsewhere are not covered by the number coding exemption,” the MMDA general manager said.
The agency advised provincial buses coming from the south that do not have terminals in Pasay City to use the agency-operated Southwest Interim Provincial Terminal (SWIPT).
MMDA is looking at a faster turn-around of provincial buses once the regulation is enforced during the morning and evening rush hours.
“We expect that the regulation would speed up travel of private motorists and passenger buses using the yellow lane along EDSA during peak hours.”
The Metro Manila Council (MMC) approved the implementation of the ban, aiming to ease the heavy traffic congestion in the metropolis brought by various road works this second half of the year.