MANILA - The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is considering imposing heavier fines for bus passengers and drivers who do not use designated stops.
MMDA General Manager Tim Orbos said among the causes of congestion are buses allowing passengers to alight or get on buses anywhere.
Orbos said, they tried to impose bus stops, "but apparently, it’s not as easy as we thought it would be given the lack of resources and enforcement."
"It seems that it’s not enough so we’re really planning to impose a fine on both the drivers as well as the passengers or potential passengers of these buses," he said in an interview on Mornings@ANC.
He explained, they are eyeing imposing the fine on jaywalking because "they shouldn’t be there on that road, at that particular place at that particular time."
Orbos emphasized, apart from causing traffic, this practice of passengers also endanger their lives.
"The solution to traffic lies both in good government and in the private sector, and unless both cooperate, unless both do their responsibilities, then it’s going to be very difficult," he said.
He also appealed to the public to cooperate.
"That’s why we’re asking the public for understanding. I know it’s difficult to change habits, it’s a behavioral thing. You really need to remind everyone and constantly enforce the law however difficult it may be."
On Monday, the MMDA intensified the enforcement of the motorcycle lane policy on four major thoroughfares in Metro Manila, like EDSA, C-5, Macapagal Avenue, and Commonwealth Avenue.
More than 100 motorcycle riders were caught on the first day. Violators will be fined P500 for the first up to the third offenses while drivers' licenses may be suspended on the fourth offense.
Orbos claimed that there were no major accident involving motorcycles on Monday and if that's one gauge then he believes they were "quite successful."
However, he added, 30 to 40% of those who were caught did not know what their violations were.
"Apparently again, there’s lack of education and therefore we need to keep to be constantly reminding everyone that in fact they are violating the law. Again, it’s for their own good—it’s not just a reduction of traffic, but it’s for their safety," he said.
Under a 2012 memorandum, the fourth lane from the sidewalk is designated as the motorcycle lane or "blue lane."
Orbos explained that during heavy traffic, when it would be difficult for them to stay on the blue lane, the riders are allowed to "pass" on the left lane; but with light traffic, they should only stay on that lane.
He added, they have also been alerted that some demarcations are already fading, and they shall be re-painted over the weekend.