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Aug. 7, 2018 

Provincial bus regulation and HOV lane proposals get green light

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Tuesday gained the approval of the Metro Manila Council (MMC) for two traffic-mitigating measures that would soon affect both private and public utility vehicles along EDSA: the provincial bus regulation and high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.

The MMC, composed of the Metro Manila Mayors, gave their go signal during the MMC meeting, presided by MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim, in Mandaluyong City today. The MMC is the governing and policy-making body of the MMDA.

MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said the mayors gave their all-out support to the agency’s plan to enforce a new policy that would regulate the entry of provincial buses on EDSA.

In spite of the approval, Garcia said they are still contemplating whether to push for the policy’s implementation on August 15.

 “Mayor Rex Gatchalian gave his 100 percent support. However, we have to fix some facilities and other infrastructure at the Valenzuela Interim Terminal. We are not in a hurry to implement the policy as we want to make sure everything is in order,” Garcia told reporters after the meeting.

Under the plan, select provincial buses coming from the north shall end its route at the Valenzuela Interim Terminal while those coming from the south shall end their route at South Interim Provincial Terminal.

Garcia said they predict a faster turn-around of provincial buses once the regulation is enforced.

Meanwhile, the Metro Manila mayors also approved the implementation of the HOV lanes along EDSA during rush hours. The MMDA floated the idea of implementing this last year to maximize the movement of people rather than vehicles by giving them exclusive lanes along EDSA. 

Under the measure, only those vehicles with two or more passengers would have the privilege to traverse Edsa.

“We have a data that 70 percent of vehicles along EDSA carry only the driver,” said Garcia.

Garcia said they will craft the guidelines of the measure and will conduct a dry run before its full implementation.

“We hope to encourage carpooling with the HOV scheme,” said Garcia.   Also, the MMC also approved the increase in exemption fee for the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program from P300 to 1,000.

Local chief executives present during the meeting were Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, Makati Mayor Abigail Binay-Campos, Pateros Mayor Miguel Ponce III, San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez, Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian, Malabon City Mayor Antolin Oreta, Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi, Las Pinas City Mayor Imelda Aguilar, Pasay City Mayor Antonino Calixto, and Navotas City Mayor John Rey Tiangco.

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