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October 1, 2015

MMDA, PNP-HPG Mull Deployment of Double-decker Buses on Edsa

The Philippine National Police - Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) are seriously considering the deployment of double-decker buses along Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (Edsa) to address the traffic problem there.

Taking a cue from Bataan Rep. Enrique "Tet" Garcia Jr. , who had suggested the use of the double-decker buses to solve the 'horrendous traffic congestion', the two government agencies are now studying how it could ease the traffic snarls in the metropolis.

HPG Director Chief Superintendent Arnold Gunnacao said that based on the legislator's proposal, it is an high time to use such type of two-level buses that could accommodate and ferry more passengers to their destinations compared with regular buses.

Double-decker buses can also compensate for the limited road system and high volume of vehicular traffic in Metro Manila, Gunnacao said, citing Garcia's observations.

In the 1980s, double-decker buses were first used by the Metro Manila Transit Corporation in their fleet.

Another transport company, Matorco, also employed double-decker buses with their tops open to carry local and foreign tourists around Roxas Boulevard in Manila.

Though viewed as a novelty ride today, double-decker buses are currently used by the Mall of Asia to shuttle patrons and shoppers to and from their destinations. Such buses are also a staple ride inside the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority complex.

Garcia's proposal would also eventually get rid of dilapidated buses plying along the stretch of EDSA as bus companies would be required to deploy double-decker units instead.

For his part, MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said that double-decker buses are space savers as they accommodate more passengers.

“Of the 4,936 franchised buses in Metro Manila, 3,421 are currently plying along Edsa. If double-deck buses are used, we not only lessen pollution but provide more road space as well without lessening seating space capacity,” Tolentino said.

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