The proposed transfer of the provincial bus terminals along Edsa to Paso de Blas in Valenzuela may be postponed to give way to preparations of the new site, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Jojo Garcia said.
“Nakita namin (during the inspection) na ‘yong infrastructure di pa tapos na tapos. I think we need to postpone this, ‘yong pagbaba na hanggang Valenzuela lang,” Garcia told reporters in a forum at a restaurant in Quezon City on Friday noon.
Garcia also shot down allegations the transferring bus terminals to the Valenzuela Gateway Center (VGC) will be a burden for commuters.
“Dito, hindi po tayo anti-commuter kasi ang makikinabang po dito, ‘yong sumasakay ng city bus kasi mapapaluwag natin ‘yong yellow lane (in Edsa),” he added.
Garcia said under the proposed measure, provincial buses servicing commuters in areas north of Metro Manila would not be allowed to enter Edsa. Instead, they will drop off passengers at the VGC; from there, city buses would provide trips going through Edsa.
The bus terminals will still be allowed to pick up passengers going to the northern provinces but they will not be allowed to use EDSA when they return to Manila.
“Pagbaba po nila sa mga terminal, kailangan saluhin na sila ng mga city buses para dumaan papasok ng Manila […] tinatanggal po natin dito ‘yong mga terminal sa EDSA, we have 46 terminals na nagko-cause ng choke (of traffic),” he added.
In a previous report, MMDA Operations Head Bong Nebrija identified Baliwag Transit, Bataan Transit Co. Inc., First North Luzon Transit Inc., Genesis Transport Service Inc., German Espiritu Lines Inc., Golden Bee Transport and Logistic Corp., RJ Express Inc., Victory Liner and Pangasinan Five Star Bus Co. Inc as the bus lines that would be affected by the new rule.
In the meantime, he said the practice of limiting buses from the north to travel until Cubao, and those from the south just until Pasay during rush hour is still in place.
Bus firms have apparently been fine with the plan, as it would benefit them in cutting down their costs because buses would not have to endure the traffic from the endpoint of North Luzon Expressway in Balintawak to terminals in EDSA.
According to Garcia, the transfer of the terminals is not different from the passengers’ practice of shifting to a city bus once they arrive at the terminal in Cubao or Pasay.
“Alam naman po natin na lahat ng sumasakay ng provincial bus, hindi naman po ‘yong terminal ang final destination nila sa Cubao at Pasay eh. Pagdating sa terminal n’yan, lilipat pa rin ‘yan, kaya nga nagkakaroon ng choke,” he explained. /vvp
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