Enraged netizens slam MMDA for ‘hellish’ EDSA traffic

By Jel Santos

Because of the hellish traffic experienced by commuters along EDSA for the past few days, enraged commuters have taken to social media to express their dismay and blast at the Metropolitan Manila Development Agency (MMDA) for its inability to ease the traffic situation for public utility vehicles (PUVs).

Commuter buses stay on the yellow lane after the MMDA strictly enforced the use of yellow lane for buses. (Mark Balmores / MANILA BULLETIN)
Commuter buses stay on the yellow lane after the MMDA strictly enforced the use of yellow lane for buses. (Mark Balmores / MANILA BULLETIN)

Some netizens pointed out that the yellow lane policy, which was strictly implemented by the MMDA the last few days, was pro-private vehicles, and did not take into consideration the majority of commuters.

“Ganito ba gusto nila mangyari? Sarap ng buhay ang iilang de-kotse, tapos bugbog ang masang nagko-commute? (Is this what they want to happen? Rich people with cars live conveniently while commuters suffer?)” a netizen posted on Facebook along with a photo where buses were in a long queue, while the other lanes designated for private vehicles were virtually empty.

“MMDA, pagmasdan niyo ang pahirap nyo sa mga mananakay. Hindi na nakarating sa kani-kanilang mga papasukan na trabaho. Dahil sa batas niyo na yellow lane. Ayaw niyo palabasin diyan sa ginawa niyo. Iyan bang yellow lane niyo, e ,nakakatulong sa trapik? Bus*t pahirap talaga kayo sa Filipino na nagtatrabaho. Hoy gising, MMDA (MMDA, look at the burden you gave to commuters. They were not able to go to their works. Because of the Yellow Lance Police you are imposing. It really pisses me because you burdened ordinary Filipino workers. Is your Yellow Lane Policy helps in easing the traffic situation? Wake up, MMDA,” another netizen lamented on Facebook.

In an interview on ANC, MMDA EDSA traffic chief Bong Nebrija, said that the yellow lane policy has actually been in place for a long time.

Nebrija said the agency only strictly implemented the policy in March to keep buses to only use the yellow lane.

Currently, the fine being imposed by MMDA for buses going outside the yellow lane was P1, 000.

“Actually, the yellow lane policy has been there for longest period of time, even before I was made the traffic head of EDSA. If you remember, sometime in March, I strictly implemented this. I tried to put all city buses inside the yellow lanes. We saw wonders. After we did that, all private vehicles were able to go through,” he said in the television interview on Friday morning.

“But that is not the point. The point is, there is a policy that I need to implement as an enforcer on the ground. That’s what I am doing,” he said.

The MMDA EDSA traffic chief, meantime, downplayed the recently experienced traffic woes on EDSA as “hiccup,” saying it was raining last Friday and Monday.

“We just had a hiccup—Friday and Monday, but we’ve been doing this. The thing is, Friday, it was raining and when we saw the traffic on EDSA there were so many buses outside the yellow lane. They literally took over EDSA—provincial buses, city buses, tourist buses, shuttles, P2Ps, they were all over EDSA,” Nebrija said, adding that they did not anticipate such.

“We were trying to funnel them back. In so doing, it created a bottle neck. So, that was the problem. Monday same thing. It was so weird and unusual that these buses started going out of the yellow lane, he said”