Draft scheme to reduce ‘empty buses’ on Edsa

Transport firms still wary of MMDA plan


The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) met with transport companies on Tuesday to make a pitch for a scheme designed to reduce the number of buses on Edsa and other major roads, noting that many “empty buses” just end up choking traffic when they form long queues at the stops.

But the meeting between MMDA officials and some 20 bus operators at the latter’s Makati City headquarters yielded more questions than answers, after the agency presented a draft plan to organize some 100 operators into four to six “self-regulating consortiums.”

The MMDA proposed at least four consortium sets based on bus destinations, garage locations and routes, among other factors.

If the bus operators agree to the scheme, it could reduce the number of city buses by half and increase the bus companies’ incomes, travel speed and ridership, according to MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino.

“If existing bus companies come together, it will improve service quality and there will be less of those empty buses,’’ Tolentino said, adding that if the 3,000 buses plying Edsa alone could be reduced by half, the remaining buses would enjoy a minimum of 78 per cent ridership daily.

With less traffic, the buses’ daily average of three round-trip journeys could be increased to five, Tolentino added.

He said there will also be less competition among buses, with the consortium providing “umbrella operations” under which bus companies can pool a certain number of units and other resources for maintenance.

“This bus consortium system is being done in Singapore and Germany,” Tolentino added.

In the meeting, however, bus company officials remained wary of the idea.

They recalled that when the proposal was first mentioned in a meeting last year, it only covered Edsa and not the entire metropolis. They also noted that the plan appears to override existing bus regulation systems.

“It would be hard to implement this for the whole Metro Manila. Bus companies already have their designated gas stations, garages,” said Juliet de Jesus of Cher Transport.

Another major concern raised by the operators was that forming consortiums would entail changing the routes specified on their current franchises.

They also doubted whether existing garages could accommodate the combined bus fleets of merging companies.

Another question raised was how bus operators would have an equitable representation in the technical working group (TWG) that would draft the consortium agreement.

Only five out of more than a hundred city bus operators attended the first meeting of the TWG last year, and at least two of them claimed that the draft agreement presented to them this week was different from what had been discussed.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GURBWYA3AIXC22EF6E6HIHRNQE Ornbort Vortingeresdemesus

    this is how much the bus companies care for you. have a nice day. 

  • Beersheva

    How can these bus companies be profitable with all those empty buses? We should remember this the next time they ask for a fare increase.

    • tanga_hanga_ni_abnoy

      bk may cut sila s mga ospital sa lahat ng mga respiratory related illness..i forgot to include hypertension and stress

  • Ralph L

    Poor government—- now that’s what you get for deregulating the transport industry!!! Now you cannot even impose simple rules anymore… bleehhh

  • WeAry_Bat

    Pitch to them increase in profits from gas savings.  A bus mostly waiting eats up a lot of gas compared to a bus that even loops around the city. 

    When I avoided traffic by going in several loops, I was astonished at the lesser gas consumption given the distance was much longer than the direct route with traffic.

    • tanga_hanga_ni_abnoy

       subsidized ba mga bus or jeeps lang? kasi mga jeep nagaabang ng matagal andar pa rin makina e

      • WeAry_Bat

        sana hindi. dapat ma-phase out na yang mga jeeps with a lighter yet stronger, safer and more fuel-efficient na model.

        sabay nun ang paghuli ng mga colorum at pag limit ang mga jeeps sa routes. madali lang yan – kung anong lumang model ay huhulihin sabay towing. pero sa future pa yan.

  • KuyaFrank

    The new ABC bus scheme is stupid. People often make errors in which bus they take and end up traveling further than they want and having to cross EDSA to get back to the destination they wanted which will cost them an additional P12 or P10.
    The MMDA should be encouraging bus companies to go green. There has been a drastic cutback in the number of Ordinary buses compared with Aircon. This means more diesel is required and consequently more emissions.
    I always travel Ordinary bus if possible and last night I had to wait almost 25 minutes for the bus I wanted.
    If you want to reduce delays on EDSA, prevent buses approaching stops at an angle and blocking 2 lanes.

  • tanga_hanga_ni_abnoy

    do not ask the operators to agree, impose nyo..e kung di papayag e ano na? think of the best solution at kung ayaw nila sumunod tanggalin ang mga prankisa

    the best solution i can think of is to set the minimum fare to 100..wala ng sasakay dyan

  • $5699914

    Alisin na lang ang mga bus sa EDSA, tram lines na lang ang ipalit.
    Yung mga bus, pang-provincial operation na lang or Manila to nearby provinces na lang ang byahe…
    Papaano yung mga empleyado ng mga bus companies? ilipat sila sa operation ng tram…
    Yung tram company, itaguyod ng mga bus operators plus ng government.

    Gawing publicly-listed company ito, para yung ordinaryong tao, maaaring mag-invest.

    Bawas polusyon, bawas-trapik, bawas kunsumo sa fuel, mas magiging-professional na ang public transportation.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos