By Alexandria San Juan
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has issued an order amending the certificate of public convenience of all provincial buses with terminals along EDSA in Metro Manila.
LTFRB Technical Division chief Joel Bolano said the Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2019-031, issued earlier this month, complements the planned closure of provincial bus terminals along EDSA.
Under the MC, the LTFRB directed all routes of provincial buses coming from the north to temporarily end at the Valenzuela Interim Terminal, while buses coming from South Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao with terminals in Cubao Quezon City will end at Sta. Rosa Interim Terminal.
Meanwhile, for buses coming from South Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao with terminals along EDSA in Pasay City, LTFRB has ordered them to end at the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).
According to the LTFRB, the amendment came after a detailed study and series of dialogues with provincial and city buses operators and commuters group in the past months.
“The removal of all public utility bus terminals along EDSA will help decongest the worsening traffic situation along said place and to rationalize the establishment of the said ITX,” the LTFRB stated in the memorandum.
The agency also mentioned in the MC the potential integrated terminals including Pandacan Depot Area in Manila and in Ciudad de Victoria in Bocaue, Bulacan which may be utilized as interim terminal in the future “upon establishment and accreditation.”
The same memorandum, penned by LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra III, and board members Ronaldo Corpus and Antonio Gardiola Jr. dated July 9, also provisionally amends the route of all city buses.
The LTFRB, through the MC, ordered all city buses to extend their endpoints to the Valenzuela Interim Terminal in the north and to Sta. Rosa Interim Terminal and PITX in the south.
“The fares of all affected buses by reason of shortening or extending their routes shall correspond to the actual distance per kilometer as authorized by this Board depending on the classification of the bus units authorized to operate,” the MC further read.
The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will also determine a “window time” for affected provincial buses when they can traverse EDSA to reach their respective terminals, the memorandum stated.
Meantime, provincial bus terminals outside EDSA will enjoy a “status quo” provided that its buses shall pass through EDSA during the designated window time only, although they are allowed to cross EDSA any time of the day.
However, the LTFRB clarified that provisions stated in the MC “shall only take effect upon the closure of all public utility bus terminals along EDSA by the concerned Local Government Units, and the establishment and accreditation of the identified Interim Terminals.”