The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) responded to the photos that were uploaded online in regards to the long lines at the EDSA Busway station. The two agencies came up with five action plans to address the issue.
Long lines at EDSA Busway station last June 11 [Photo: June ni JP Twitter]
The photos that circulated online showed long lines of commuters at the MRT-3 Ortigas and Ayala stations last June 11, 2021. The photos generated mixed reactions from netizens since President Rodrigo Duterte mentioned that traffic on EDSA is now light, which could be translated to faster travel and a shorter waiting time for commuters to catch a bus ride.
“Ang traffic sa EDSA maluwang na, but early on sa administration ko, it was a crisis,” said Duterte during a televised interview. (Traffic on EDSA is now light, but it was a crisis early on in my administration.)
EDSA Busway station [Photo: patrickroque01]
The DOTr and the LTFRB released a joint statement in response to the long lines at the EDSA Busway. The two agencies explained that “there was heavy rain on Friday [June 11]” as well as “seven vehicular accidents and two stalled [vehicles] along EDSA.” These factors contributed to the unusual traffic build-up along the said thoroughfare, and have affected the turnaround of EDSA busway units.
The two agencies added that “queueing and waiting time are inevitable, especially during rush hour, weekend, or when there are vehicular accidents and weather disturbances.” However, the DOTr and LTFRB said that commuters are lined up in an organized manner unlike before where there were no designated loading and unloading stations.
Unusual traffic build-up affected the operation of the EDSA Busway [Photo: Commuters of Metro Manila]
Despite the series of unfortunate events that led to a long queue, the DOTr and the LTFRB have come up with action plans to further improve the services at the EDSA Busway stations. DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade wants to prevent the long lines from happening again. As such, he ordered the DOTr Road Sector and the LTFRB to implement the following:
DOTr and LTO Action Plan:
1. Revisit the present free ride system, and to study if it may be expanded to other platforms, and not just limit it to the road transport sector.
2. Push the EDSA Busway Consortium to deploy the maximum number of authorized bus units under their contract to serve more commuters availing of the free bus ride, especially during rush hours, and to add more units as necessary. To date, the Consortium pledged to add 15 more modern bus units with left-side doors that will be deployed in the EDSA Busway Route.
3. Add more transport marshals to properly manage passenger traffic at the various EDSA Carousel stations, and to guarantee fast and orderly passenger bus boarding.
4. Deploy more "rescue skip buses" to congested EDSA Bus Stops to pick up passengers especially during rush hours.
5. Open more mini bus loops, so that EDSA busway units can maneuver immediately and fetch passengers. These mini loops shall be monitored and managed by I-ACT, in coordination with MMDA, for smooth flow of traffic.
The DOTr Road Sector will further discuss various measures along with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and Local Government Units (LGUs) to prevent traffic congestion that affects the operation of the EDSA Busway.
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