Starting today, the MMDA will not be allowing provincial buses to pick up and drop off passengers along the busy thoroughfare that is EDSA. Not only that, they also won't be allowing them to do the same along other major thoroughfares around the metropolitan area.
From this day on, albeit temporarily, provincial buses are only allowed to pick up and drop off passengers in designated terminals. Those who violate the rule will be fined Php 500. At the same time, MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said that the dry run of the bus terminal closures along EDSA will continue as well.
The MMDA is obliging operators of bus terminals to use the government-put up terminals such as Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange and facilities located in Sta. Rosa Laguna and Valenzuela City. The Agency says that this move is a bid to decongest Metro Manila as these buses add about 3,300 more vehicles sharing the road in NCR.
While the MMDA has been imposing restrictions on provincial buses since the start of the current administration, they are pushing for the closure of the province-bound terminals for June this year. President Rodrigo Duterte himself has issued a directive to shut down the terminals along the busy major road. Should the plan push through, provincial buses will no longer be allowed to travel around the Metro. That also means that passengers will have to travel by other means to the city once the rule is permanently and officially enforced.
At the moment, there's the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX). There, provincial buses drop off their passengers and they will transfer to public utility vehicles that will bring them to the city. Soon to open are terminal exchanges in Valenzuela City, Valenzuela, as well as another one in Santa Rosa, Laguna. More of these will open in the coming years.