Manila adjusts ban on buses

Legit operators without terminals can now enter city

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Starting Monday, passenger buses with a franchise can enter the City of Manila but under certain conditions, the chief of the Manila District Traffic Enforcement Unit said on Sunday.

Chief Insp. Olivia Sagaysay said each bus operator would be allowed to field five or 10 buses provided that these would pick up and drop off passengers only in designated areas. Depending on the volume of buses plying a certain route, the number of buses could go up to 20, she added.

According to her, the drivers of authorized buses would be issued a piece of laminated paper containing control numbers and their vehicles’ plate and body numbers. They would also receive a sticker from the management of the Park N Ride in Lawton which would serve as the buses’ terminal.

“We will reduce the volume of buses plying the roads of Manila by 70 percent,” Sagaysay said, adding that they were still finalizing the list of authorized passenger buses.

She said that some of the laminated papers would contain two plate numbers and two body numbers so that these could be used alternately by two buses, for example, when one is covered by the number coding scheme or undergoing repairs.

These documents will also contain her signature as head of the Manila police traffic unit and Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso’s, the city’s traffic czar.

Sagaysay said buses coming from Cavite would be allowed to load and unload passengers only at Quirino/Taft Avenue and Park N Ride Lawton.

Buses from Fairview, on the other hand, should stop only at the footbridge in front of the University of Santo Tomas on España Boulevard, Manila Multimodal Terminal near the Post Office, Rizal Park in front of Sta. Isabel College and Quirino/Taft Avenue.

Buses from San Juan and Ortigas should pick up and drop off passengers only at the Light Rail Transit station on Pureza Street, Arlegui Street in front of the Technological Institute of Manila and Park N Ride Lawton.

Earlier, Mayor Joseph Estrada said that only colorum or illegal buses were banned from entering the city while those with a franchise would be allowed to ply their designated routes under certain conditions.

He made the clarification after Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board officials said the city ban should not supersede the franchise given to bus operators.

Estrada’s statement created confusion because on the first day of the ban’s implementation last Monday, even legitimate buses were turned away if their companies did not have terminals in the city, as stated in Council Resolution No. 16.

Domagoso had also said that operators who cooperate would eventually be allowed into the city although on a regulated basis.

“What we’re going to do next [is to] utilize lanes and regulate the entry of buses. For the meantime, they have to follow [regulations]. We can always amend this [resolution] as long as they [promise to] cooperate,” Domagoso added.

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