Metro Manila mayors have agreed to remove bus terminals along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue as the government’s solution to the worsening traffic situation in the National Capital Region.
This developed shortly after members of the Metro Manila Council, the policy-making body of the Metro Manila Development Authority, approved on Friday a resolution for the eventual removal of bus terminals.
“They approved the removal of bus terminals on Edsa. It is now up to them [mayors] to prepare for their eventual removal from Pasay and Quezon City,” said MMDA Chairman Emerson Carlos following an MMC meeting at the MMDA central office in Makati City.
Carlos added Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista and Pasay City Mayor Antonio Calixto, whose jurisdiction have the most numbers of bus terminals, were the first local executives who signed the resolution entitled “Rationalizing the Operations of Provincial Buses and its Terminals Along EDSA.”
“Although it will not be implemented immediately, we told them to prepare, pending the request for the emergency powers [to be given to President Rodrigo Duterte] since the permits are issued by the mayors,” he said.
The MMDA chief said the Council also agreed to enforce the “Nose In, Nose Out Policy” at the bus terminals while the establishments are yet to be removed. The policy was proposed by Makati City Mayor Abigail Binay during the meeting.
President Duterte in his first the State of the Nation Address said all bus terminals on Edsa “must eventually be removed and transferred to strategic areas outside of the metropolis with the end of decongesting said major thoroughfare.”
“As a matter of policy, no additional provincial bus terminals shall be allowed to be established along Edsa,” the Resolution stated.
Carlos said the owners or operators of existing bus terminals were also directed to make the necessary preparations “for their eventual removal from Edsa” and “consequent transfer to strategic areas outside of the metropolis.”
Officials of the MMDA, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, and the Department of Transportation are discussing plans to relocate provincial bus terminals along Edsa.
With the removal of the terminals, Carlos said it would help improve the flow of traffic since provincial buses will no longer enter Metro Manila to load and unload passengers.
MMDA records show that there are 85 provincial bus companies in Metro Manila.
Of the 85 provincial bus companies, 46 firms have terminals on Edsa, particularly in Cubao, Balintawak and at the corner of Taft Ave.
Around 3,300 provincial buses and 12,000 city buses ply Edsa daily.
Two years ago, former President Benigno Aquino III signed Administrative Order No. 40, establishing transport terminals in the north and south of the metropolis to decongest EDSA and restrict provincial buses from entering the major thoroughfare.