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MMDA eyes closure of prov’l bus terminals along EDSA by January

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By the Philippine News Agency

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is seeking to remove all provincial bus terminals along Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (Edsa) by January next year, citing their contribution to the worsening traffic congestion along the highway.

Traffic gridlock along EDSA expectedly happened Wednesday evening as hundreds of thousands of Metro Manila residents began their travel to the provinces to observe – or enjoy – the long weekend break from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday. This photo taken along EDSA corner Buendia Avenue shows part of the traffic slowdown around the Metro even with the 1,800 traffic enforcers deployed by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for the annual Holy Week exodus. (Manny Llanes)

(Manny Llanes/ MANILA BULLETIN)

“May directive sa amin ang Pangulo that provincial bus terminals along Edsa be closed down. Remove anything that obstructs traffic along Edsa didiretso yan at bibilis (The President has given a directive that provincial bus terminals along Edsa be closed. Remove anything that obstructs traffic along Edsa, so it will be smooth-flowing and faster),” General Manager Jose Arturo Garcia Jr. said in a TV interview on Tuesday.

The MMDA is coordinating with officials of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and other stakeholders of the transportation sector on the planned removal of the provincial bus terminals.

“Ang target namin is January talaga. I hope naaksyunan nila agad. I talked with DOTr Undersecretary for Road Transport Mark de Leon and LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III. We must also talk with NLEX and SLEX. I’m already giving pressure to them. Sabikonga: Let’s do this (Our target is really on January. I hope they decide on this. I’m already giving pressure to them. I told them: Let’s do this),” Garcia said.

The MMDA is looking at installing integrated terminals along Valenzuela City and Santa Rosa, Laguna that will cater to buses from the northern and southern provinces near Metro Manila.

The agency likewise lauded the DOTr for its inauguration of the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX), the country’s first integrated and multimodal terminal, last Monday.

Dubbed as the country’s first “landport”, the PITX serves as a transfer point for passengers alighting from provincial buses from Cavite and Batangas and transferring to in-city modes of transportation bound for Metro Manila’s southwest, and vice versa.

The terminal 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.

The PITX has a maximum daily capacity of 100,000 passengers, with departure, arrival, and bay areas for provincial and city buses, UV express and jeepneys, and parking slots.

Park-ride facilities and maintenance areas for vehicle repair are also available. No terminal fees will be collected from passengers.

There are currently 46 bus terminals along Edsa, according to the MMDA.

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