The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will impose fines against provincial buses that will not comply with the “no loading and unloading policy” along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) as it began its strict enforcement yesterday, Monday, April 22.
Violators face a fine of PHP500 for illegal loading and unloading. They may also face penalties of PHP1,000 for violation of the closed-door policy, PHP1,000 for road obstruction, and PHP150 for disregarding traffic signs.
“Our traffic enforcers are directed to apprehend provincial buses that will pick up and drop off passengers along Edsa,” said Edison ‘Bong’ Nebrija, MMDA traffic manager for Edsa, in a radio interview on Monday.
He warned that its traffic enforcers would issue citation tickets against violators of the traffic scheme as it reminded bus operators that their bus units should only pick up and drop off passengers at their designated terminals.
“The no loading and unloading policy has been disregarded or not being complied for a long period of time which contributed to the worsening traffic congestion right now. Thus, we are implementing this again. We will have intensified enforcement operations,” Nebrija said.
The MMDA is also starting its dry run for the closure of bus terminals along Edsa. It is coordinating with the local governments of the cities of Pasay and Quezon which have jurisdiction over the bus terminals.
Bus operators are urged to use the interim terminals located in Valenzuela City and the City of Santa Rosa in Laguna province as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) constructs the integrated bus terminals in Bulacan and Taguig City for public utility buses coming from the northern and southern provinces near Metro Manila, respectively.
The DOTr is coordinating with the MMDA for the expansion of the routes of city buses to the integrated terminals to ensure ease of travel among commuters.
Provincial bus operators have appealed to the MMDA to stop the implementation of the provincial bus ban as this will affect commuters coming from provinces who travel to Metro Manila daily.
MMDA aims to close down all 47 bus terminals along Edsa by June.