No more provincial buses on EDSA by 2014

By Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 20 2013 10:03 PM | Updated as of Jun 21 2013 06:03 AM

MANILA - The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is opening another bus terminal equipped with a computerized dispatch system in Alabang, Muntinlupa.

All public utility city buses whose route is going south of Metro Manila are required to pass through the Alabang South Station terminal for inspection.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the dispatch system aims not only to regulate the number of public utility buses in EDSA but also monitor the performance of the bus drivers and their road behavior.

"Mababawasan ang colorum. Maaalis ang mga pasaway na driver, ma-a-assure ang publiko na safe ang kanilang sasakyan,” he said.

Under the system, each driver that will pass through the terminal will undergo a fingerprint scan. The scan will reveal data such as the drivers identification based on his driver’s license, the number of apprehensions and violations of the driver, and the registration and franchise validity of the bus itself.

The MMDA chief said if the driver is found to have more than three violations, he will be barred from continuing to ply the route. He said the MMDA will also hold a bus if its franchise and registration are fake.

Tolentino said a bus will be dispatched from the terminal every ten minutes.

The Alabang Terminal is one of four terminals dedicated for city buses. Two other terminals in Fairview and Malabon were inaugurated last February, while the fourth terminal in Coastal Road will be open by July 15.

Mixed opinions

Bus drivers gave mixed opinions about the new system being implemented. Some find it inconvenient and impractical, while others believe the system will help discipline both drivers and passengers.

"Medyo nanibago. Medyo matagal ang pila. Nakakaapekto, bawas ang kita dahil matagal,” said one driver.

Another one said: "Ok lang, kaso pag naulan, nababasa paa ng driver. Pwede sana konduktor na lang.”

Another driver praised the system. “Ok naman. Maayos naman sistema. Ok naman sa byahe,” he said.

Three more terminals are being constructed for provincial buses: one on Coastal Road in Paranaque; another in Alabang, Muntinlupa; and the last in Trinoma, Quezon City.

Tolentino said he expects around 7,000 provincial buses will be detoured out of EDSA once the terminals are completed.

The MMDA chairman made an inspection of the construction in Coastal Road Thursday morning after inaugurating the Alabang Terminal.

"Pag natapos yung pang apat sa Coastal, tatlo para sa mga provincial, palagay ko mababawasan na ang traffic,” he said.

He expects the constructions to be finished by the end of the year.

Once completed, all provincial buses plying the route of Northern Luzon will all make a stop at the Trinoma Terminal while those coming from the southern provinces will make a stop in either Alabang Terminal or Coastal Road Terminal.

The provincial buses will no longer be allowed on EDSA.

The bus terminals along Pasay and Cubao will only be used as the operator's motor pool for repairs and other administrative purpose.

"Hindi na pwedeng pagsakyan. Pwede repairs o tulugan ng mga driver, pero hindi na pwedeng pagsakyan," Tolentino said.

For the Coastal Road terminal alone, the MMDA is spending some P24 million.