MANILA—The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) plans to establish a common terminal for provincial buses to further ease traffic congestion in EDSA and other major roads in Metro Manila.
MMDA General Manager Thomas Orbos reiterated that provincial buses should not traverse through major thoroughfares as this further contributes to the heavy traffic condition in the metropolis.
He said that a major challenge on the implementation of the nose in nose out policy for provincial buses is the lack of movable spaces for terminals. The policy mandates these buses to only enter or exit at terminals outside Metro Manila and not to load or unload passengers in major roads.
The MMDA reported that nine bus terminals lacked the garage space to comply with the policy.
In a recent consultation with bus operators, two bus companies agreed to demolish a wall between their terminals while four others agreed to transfer their bus fleets to a common terminal in Cubao, Quezon City.
“It is urgent that a common terminal that will provide shared facilities for provincial buses is established as a way to further ease traffic congestion,” Orbos said in an interview with reporters.
The MMDA will coordinate with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board for the establishment of the common terminal for provincial buses.
The agency intends to install two integrated terminals for provincial buses coming from the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and the Southern Luzon Expressway (SLEX).
It plans to put up the terminal for buses from SLEX at the Food Terminal Incorporated (FTI) complex in Taguig while it is scouting a place for the integrated terminal for buses coming from NLEX.
Meanwhile, the MMDA, in coordination with the DOTr, is responsible for the development of the Southwest Interim Transport Terminal at Coastal Mall in Paranaque for provincial buses from the south of Metro Manila entering via Coastal Road and/or Manila-Cavite Expressway.
The MMDA hopes to rationalize the operations of provincial buses along EDSA through the eventual removal of bus terminals along EDSA and banning them from plying the major thoroughfares of Metro Manila.
President Rodrigo Duterte, in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), said that all bus terminals along EDSA must be relocated to strategic areas outside the metropolis to decongest major roads.
Data from the MMDA show that there are 85 provincial bus companies whose terminals are in Metro Manila, 46 of which are along EDSA, specifically in Cubao and Balintawak in Quezon City and in Taft Avenue in Pasay City.
Around 3,300 provincial buses and 12,000 city buses ply along EDSA daily.