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MMDA sets drop-off, pickup points for Ateneo students

/ 12:06 AM June 20, 2016

TO REDUCE the volume of cars on Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City on school days, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) will ink a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on Monday to launch the Ateneo Shuttle Service Program which will designate three drop-off and pickup points for its students, teachers and personnel.

MMDA Traffic Discipline Office head Cris Saruca said during the agency’s Sunday radio program that the signing of the MOA would be held a day before the launching of the shuttle service.

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Under the agreement, there will be three transport hubs in Metro Manila—Temple Drive and UP Ayala Techno Hub in Quezon City and SM Marikina in Marikina City—where Ateneo students, teachers and employees can be dropped off and picked up by private vehicles.

“They will be transported using a shuttle bus going to Ateneo,” Saruca said, adding that the buses and shuttle service would be provided free by the university.

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He added that the program was aimed at easing traffic on Katipunan Avenue by reducing the number of private vehicles dropping off or picking up AdMU students or staff.  The MMDA earlier estimated that around 5,000 private cars enter the campus during the morning rush hour.

“This will reduce not only the cars on Katipunan but also inside the campus,” Saruca said.

Earlier this month, MMDA Chair Emerson Carlos reiterated the agency’s proposal for schools to have a shuttle service for their students to prevent vehicle buildup on nearby roads.

“If we insist on having one vehicle per student, there [will really be a buildup] at the [school] gates. We will have a hard time managing traffic,” Carlos said.

He noted that the volume of vehicles goes up by 20 percent on a school day, particularly from 5:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. and again from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Carlos said the solution was to have a “sharing system” using the shuttle service. The initiative was proposed by the agency during the time of then MMDA Chair Bayani Fernando in 2002. Dubbed the “Drop and Ride” program, it designated drop-off and pickup points for the parents of students from selected schools. It was eventually scrapped, however, due to security concerns.

Aside from this effort to address traffic, Saruca said they had also met with Mandaluyong City traffic officials about the implementation of the no-parking rule on Ortigas Avenue near La Salle Green Hills to avoid heavy traffic in the area.

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He added that they would also prohibit parking along the sidewalk, encouraging parents to drive their cars inside the school instead of dropping off their children along the streets. “Tow trucks will be in place on Monday for illegally parked vehicles,” Saruca warned.

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TAGS: Ateneo de Manila University, Katipunan Avenue, Metro, MMDA, news, traffic
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