MMDA eyes bus consortium to ease traffic

By Zen Hernandez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 12 2013 05:56 PM | Updated as of Feb 13 2013 01:56 AM

MANILA – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is urging bus operators to form a consortium per zone in an effort to reduce traffic in Metro Manila.

Based on MMDA's proposal, there will be four zones: Monumento, Baclaran, Fairview and Alabang.

All bus operators based in Fairview will group themselves and form the Fairview consortium and so on.

Ideally, the consortium should have a common garage and a common system for dispatching units.

They may also standardize bus units in terms of color.

This way, dispatch of buses will be more efficient since each consortium will have a better idea of how many units are needed in their zone.

Arrival of buses will also be more predictable. This is a practice being implemented in countries like Singapore and Germany.

The MMDA believes that this system will help reduce the number of buses by half.

Currently, there are almost 4,000 franchised buses in Metro Manila.

There are 47 bus routes and each bus is only able to ply their routes an average of three times a day.

They also spend an average of 2 hours and 15 minutes on the road per direction.

Bus operators expressed concern though about certain problems that the proposal might cause.

They pointed out that each operator has their own garage. They also have separate franchises.

The MMDA said they will have to coordinate with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and revise some of the items on the bus franchise.

They hope to implement the proposal within the year. This will complement the plan to build centralized provincial bus terminals in the north and south, with the goal of decongesting EDSA.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said these are the options that they presented to President Benigno Aquino when the President decided to defer the rehab of EDSA.