Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Wrong Policy: Provincial Bus Ban on EDSA Underpasses

(Note:  For this article, the term “provincial buses” refers to those buses that come from the south of Manila specifically CALABARZON and the Bicol Region)

In addition to the many measures enforced by the government in the search for solutions to the EDSA traffic mess, recently included was the ban on provincial buses from taking the underpasses along EDSA.  I think the policy makers should reevaluate this directive for the following reasons:

First off, many of my arguments about this policy are contained in a previous article that I made during the time that the issue is about the planned unified terminal in Alabang where the original proposal was to prohibit all provincial buses from passing through EDSA and force the passengers to transfer to city buses.  (Click here for the full article)  Well, let me just reiterate my arguments about provincial buses here.

(Photo from: http://www.silent-gardens.com/assets/images/Bus/Alps.jpg)

It has to be emphasized that provincial buses has fewer stops in EDSA compared to city buses.  Specifically, after exiting the SLEX in Magallanes, its only stops are in Mantrade, GO Hotels in Boni, under the Ortigas Avenue flyover, and under the Santolan flyover before they finally end up at their terminals in Cubao.   These bus stops have greater advantage compared to the city bus stops as they are located out of the main roadway.  Most importantly, provincial buses only unload and never pick up passengers on the way to their terminals.  Conversely, on their way to the provinces, they only load and never unload passengers along EDSA.  As such, IF ONLY ALL CITY BUSES BEHAVE THE SAME WAY AS THE PROVINCIAL BUSES, THE TRAFFIC PROBLEM IN EDSA BROUGHT ABOUT BY THE CITY BUSES WILL BE 99% SOLVED!

Regular provincial bus commuters (which I am) know these stops by heart and plan their trips accordingly.  We know that provincial bus drivers rarely open their doors outside these terminals even in standstill traffic, well because aside from following the rules, this is also partly because they do not need the space that any passenger vacates because they are not picking any passengers in EDSA!

Provincial buses rarely do this because they do not load passengers along EDSA on the way to their terminals in Cubao.
(Photo:  https://sentimentalfreak.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/bus-20130720-carousel.jpg)

To ban these buses from taking the faster route to their terminals means slowing them down from reaching their destinations and that means that they stay longer on the road, thus further adding to the already congested EDSA.  It has to be highlighted that there are only three underpasses from Mantrade to Cubao that these buses pass through:  Ayala Tunnel, Shaw Crossing, and Cubao.  Forbidding the provincial buses from taking these tunnels will not ease the congestion in these intersections.  On the contrary, it will exacerbate the jam by further adding more buses on the roadway which otherwise would have already passed through had they been allowed to use the underpasses. 

Well, for the dirty minded, they cannot help but think that this policy actually has a bigger goal:  to discredit the provincial buses by making them behave like the city buses in EDSA thus eventually resurrecting the mothballed South Interim Bus Terminal project inaugurated by the MMDA and LTFRB last August 27, 2014.

I cannot help but ask, “Ayala na naman?”


  1. These people don't understand the behavior of buses in EDSA. They don't understand that provincial buses are almost like private vehicles because they prefer to pick up added passengers in Turbina or Alabang instead of EDSA. They don't understand that city buses behave differently as well. Buses heading to Pacita/Alabang has Ayala and Crossing as their main source of passengers. Baclaran buses either turn the entire road into a terminal or they speed to get more trips..If an Alabang bus is going to pass through Sucat and Bicutan, they behave more like FTI buses who speed like there's no tomorrow during the rush hours to get to Crossing so by the time they get to Ayala, they're packed to the brim. I don't think these guys are putting in the time to research or consult when making these rules.

  2. hahaha nadale mo ron angelo. sa totoo lang, isa na namang example ito ng policy na ginawa ng mga taong wala namang personal na experience sa kanilang ginagawan ng polisiya!


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