Bus passengers appeal to LTFRB on EDSA traffic policy

By MB Online

Bus passengers and commuters in Metro Manila have requested the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to defer the implementation of a new policy on the traffic flow on EDSA.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (MANILA BULLETIN) Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (MANILA BULLETIN)

The commuters referred to LTFRB Memorandum Circular (MC) 2020-019 called the "Guidelines for the operation of public utility buses (PUBs) during the period of General Community Quarantine (GCQ) in Metro Manila."

With the implementation of LTFRB’s MC scheduled to start today (June 1), the riding public will be the hardest to be hit by the government agency's memo circular, they pointed out.

The MC implementation will likewise add another burden to commuters as they will be transferring from one bus to another and at the same time pay additional fare instead of riding and paying for just one ride with lesser fare.

An example of this was the previous route of bus transports that will traverse straight from Alabang to Meycauayan whereas under the LTFRB’s plan, a passenger still needs to make three rides before arriving at his destination, at a time when few rides are available.

Under the new program of the LTFRB and MMDA, passengers coming from the north like in Balagtas, Malanday, Marilao, Maycauayan will only be traveling until Monumento-EDSA where they will disembark and need to ride another bus until they arrive in their respective destinations.

On the other hand, passengers coming from Angat, Norsagaray, San Jose Del Monte, Grotto, Fairview and Commonwealth will only be brought by the bus they will be riding to EDSA-Quezon Avenue.

Likewise, commuters on riding transport buses coming from Montalban, San Mateo, Marikina and Katipunan and another route from Antipolo, Kingsville, Filinvest, Ligaya and Katipunan will only be brought to the central station in EDSA-Cubao.

Also under LTFRB’s changes of routes, an "EDSA Carousel Route" was created where only 550 low-floored buses that could only accommodate 9,900 passengers will be given the authority to travel along EDSA leaving behind 2,117 buses who will only act as passenger feeders on the EDSA Carousel buses.

The agency invoked the emergency powers of President Duterte under Presidential Proclamation (PP) No. 922 declaring the state of public health emergency.

The bus passengers said the policy only cuts the line of bus trips along EDSA and will likewise only give favorable advantage to some service providers.

It can be recalled that Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Presiding Judge Caridad Walse Lutero of Branch 223 ruled in a 25-page decision dated July 31, 2019 against this policy, when she issued a writ of preliminary injunction that stops the implementation of MC 2019-001 requiring provincial buses to end their routes at any integrated terminal exchange which also prohibits them from traversing and/or passing through EDSA.