Latest Stories

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.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Edsa , empty buses , Metropolitan Manila Development Authority , MMDA , MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino

Copyright © 2014, .
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
  1. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  4. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  5. Senator Pimentel backs German think tank’s stand vs dynasties
  6. Bar proctor suspended for photographing test papers
  7. Collector Danny Garcia says Inquirer worth more than news
  8. Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  9. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  7. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after gear fails
  • 8 killed in Finland parachutist plane accident
  • $57-B mega plan to solve Metro’s mega woes
  • Aquino vows to step up fight against corruption
  • Santiago scoffs at rushing defense pact for Obama visit
  • Sports

  • PH pug Hipolito Banal decisions Colombian in Aiba
  • Former Pacquiao sparmate Porter keeps IBF title
  • Grueling 2014 Le Tour de Filipinas hits road
  • ICTSI Tour big hitters have edge at Sherwood
  • What Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather could do
  • Lifestyle

  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Korean animation comes of age
  • Entertainment

  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Persistence pays off for The 1975
  • Special section in LA fest for Filipino films
  • Business

  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Bourse to woo Cebu stock mart investors
  • Supper power
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Marketplace