In September, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority revealed that it was planning to introduce a new bus-stop scheme along EDSA to alleviate the traffic condition on the metro's main thoroughfare.
Well, that time has come as the agency is implementing its bus-segregation program starting today, December 18, which, according to the MMDA, will cover all 3,100 buses plying EDSA.
"We have given bus operators sufficient time to have their bus units tagged, so buses that have not been tagged, or those that have no stickers, will not be allowed on EDSA," said MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino.
The bus-segregation scheme will reportedly be enforced along the stretch of EDSA from the Magallanes Interchange to the East Avenue intersection (and vice versa). To help commuters understand the new scheme, signs (like the ones above) have been put up indicating what kind of bus stops at each, um, bus stop.
Under the program, buses that ply EDSA have been tagged as Bus A, B or C "to minimize traffic congestion along the thoroughfare, particularly in loading and unloading areas."
A and B buses can only use their designated A and B bus stops, respectively, while C buses will be allowed to use all bus stops.
Bus A will stop at the following loading/unloading bays:
- Northbound - Magallanes, Buendia, Guadalupe, Shaw Boulevard, SM Megamall, Boni Serrano, Cubao Farmers, and Ermin Garcia.
- Southbound - Ermin Garcia, Arayat Cubao, VV Soliven, Connecticut, Shaw Starmall, Guadalupe, Buendia Avenue, and Mantrade.
(Bus A stops are painted red.)
Bus B will stop at the following loading/unloading bays:
- Northbound - Ayala Avenue, Estrella, Pioneer/Boni, SM Megamall, Ortigas Avenue, Main Avenue, and Baliwag/5 Star.
- Southbound - Kamuning, Monte de Piedad, Main Avenue, POEA Ortigas, Pioneer/Boni, Estrella, and Ayala Avenue.
(Bus B stops are painted blue.)
Tolentino added that southbound buses marked "A" are allowed to take the Kamuning-Timog, Santolan and Ortigas flyovers. Northbound buses marked "B" are allowed on the Santolan flyover, while those marked "A" can use the Ortigas and Timog-Kamuning flyovers.
"We are optimistic that this enhanced bus-segregation system will decongest EDSA significantly," Tolentino said.
The MMDA chief added that his agency's dispatchers have already been instructed not to allow bus units without stickers to leave the four Organized Bus Route terminals.
Just a thought: Before they conceptualized this bus-segregation scheme, hadn't it occurred to them that it might probably be the fact that there are 3,100 buses using EDSA, that could be the root of the problem in the first place?