Management group backs upgrade, privatization of EDSA busway, railways

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 22 2022 11:42 AM | Updated as of Aug 24 2022 12:51 PM

MANILA - The Management Association of the Philippines on Monday said it has proposed the upgrade and privatization of the EDSA Busway system which could help the transport system reach global standards.

MAP said it has submitted its recommendation for a "total system upgrade of the EDSA Busway and bus service" to Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista.

The group said the upgrade will scale up its capacity to achieve its full potential as an urban mass public transport system to "ably serve its role as the complementary mass transport to the MRT-3," the group said.

Among the recommended measures by MAP are as follows:

• increase the capacity of station platforms and enable simultaneous docking of buses
• construct more stations to close the gap
• construct footbridges with concourse dedicated for the busway
• expedite the construction of donated busway station footbridges
• resolve chokepoints along the carousel line
• replicate the busway in other major commuter corridors in NCR
• provide ease of bust-to-train connectivity
• provide bus exchange stations for trunk-to-feeder line transfer
• decongest Ayala Stations and McKinley Road by providing an alternate route from Bonifacio Global City to Buendia stations
• introduce modern high-capacity electric commuter buses
• issuance of an Executive Order by President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr to require all agencies to comply with the National Transport Plan 2017 which aims to prioritize public transport and active mobility through allocation of road space for such purpose
 
The DOTr was also urged to consider the privatization of the EDSA busway and bus service and urban commuter rail systems consisting of the MRT3, LRT2 and PNR Commuter lines in a hybrid mode wherein the government provide the infrastructure while private concessionaires operate the service and maintain the facilities, MAP said.

MAP said it was willing to work with the DOTr for the preparation of the terms of reference (TOR) for the bidding.

The EDSA busway system was implemented to provide public transport to commuters after the old bus system was halted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a TeleRadyo interview, MAP president and former Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson said privatization will help improve commuter comfort and convenience in the Edsa Busway.

He said Bautista seemed open to the idea when they first met about the project.

"Panahon na na i-privatize yung operations at hindi yung maraming maliliit na operators. Ayusin ‘no, halimbawa, magbigay ng, sa ganitong ruta, ilan lang ang magpapatakbo dyan, pero minimum number of buses i-specify ng gobyerno," he said.

(It's time that we privatize the operations, we don't want so many operators. We can specify, say, how many operators can ply a specific route, but government has to specify a minimum number of buses.)

"Otherwise, napaka-inconvenient eh dahil, atsaka delikado yung lalabas ka sa kanan, tatawid ka doon sa platform, nakakabagal yun."

(Otherwise, it's very incovenient. Also, it's dangerous how you have to get off one side of the bus and cross the road on another.)

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