How do you fit 12,000 buses on Edsa?By Miko Morelos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
How do you fit some 12,000 buses into two lanes on Edsa that can only accommodate 1,600?
The question continued to bug the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) two days after it strictly enforced lane restrictions on public utility buses (PUBs), a move that worsened traffic conditions on the country’s busiest highway on Monday.
“This is the reality we are facing today. This will not change unless we do something about it,” MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino said, adding that he expected the bottlenecks to develop because drivers were again adjusting to the revived “yellow lane” policy.
The policy, which was instituted in 1989 through a Metro Manila Council resolution, highlighted the “oversupply” of buses in the capital, Tolentino said.
Its revival, he said, enabled the agency to pinpoint two major choke points on Edsa: The southbound lane at the corner of Quezon Avenue and the northbound lane at Ortigas Avenue.
As a remedy, he said, the MMDA is considering extending the length of the barriers that separate the yellow lane from the regular lanes to discourage erring bus drivers from creating bottlenecks by entering the yellow lanes at the last minute.
Under the 1989 MMC resolution, the two outer lanes on both sides Edsa were designated as yellow lanes for the use of public utility vehicles.
Initially, all city and provincial buses were required to stay within these lanes at all times and were also prohibited from using flyovers and most of the underpasses.
At present, however, provincial buses are already allowed on flyovers during window hours—6 a.m. to 10 a.m., and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.—to ease the load on yellow lanes especially during rush hours.
On a positive note, Tolentino observed that the revived restrictions had discouraged speeding and reckless driving. “Have you noticed that buses aren’t racing along Edsa anymore?” he said.
Tolentino reiterated his proposal for bus companies with small fleets to just merge together to be more economically viable and competitive. “This will allow them to pool their limited resources which will benefit the public. It has been done in the airline and banking industries.”