Prov'l buses may use EDSA tunnels until June
Mike Frialde (The Philippine Star) - February 6, 2015 - 1:00pm

MANILA, Philippines - Provincial buses are again allowed by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to pass through three of EDSA’s tunnels until June 6.

In a memorandum circular, MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino said provincial buses have again been allowed to pass through the Shaw Boulevard, P. Tuazon and Aurora Boulevard tunnels starting February 2.

“Necessity still exists for provincial buses to use the EDSA underpasses to alleviate traffic and allow city buses to maximize the road use of city bus stops,” said Tolentino.

The MMDA earlier allowed provincial buses to use the three EDSA tunnels from October 28 last year until last January 4 in anticipation of the heavy holiday traffic volume.

Provincial buses have been allowed by the MMDA to pass through the three underpasses.

Tolentino said the use of the tunnels by the buses would be subject to an “odd-even” scheme depending on the last digit of their license plates. By allowing some provincial buses to use the underpasses, EDSA’s service roads will be decongested, the MMDA said.

Tolentino added that unlike city buses, provincial buses only load and unload passengers at designated terminals and have no need to stop along EDSA in between terminals.

Tolentino said provincial buses with license plates ending in 1,3,5,7 and 9 would be allowed to use the three tunnels every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Meanwhile, provincial buses with license plates ending in 2,4,6,8, and 0 shall use be allowed to pass through the tunnels every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. 

The MMDA said provincial buses using the three tunnels would strictly stay on the rightmost lane (the lane nearest the tunnel wall).

Both city and provincial buses are not allowed to pass through EDSA’s tunnels on Sundays.

Drivers of provincial buses that would be violating the new scheme will be made to pay a P500 fine.

According to MMDA records, there are about 3,300 provincial buses and 12,000 city buses passing through EDSA each day.   

“Effective pa rin ang number coding scheme. Walang magiging conflict kasi yung Monday, odd number so 1 yun tapos yung sa coding 1 din, bawal naman talaga yun. 50 percent ng provincial buses sa EDSA ang maalis sa mga service roads. So ang gagawin natin ngayon odd even concept pag 1,3,5,7,9 nasa ilalim sila (tunnels) and even nasa itaas so salitan yun naman ang napagkasunduan so 50 percent ng provincial buses nasa service road maibabawas natin at gagalaw na din yung sa city buses,” said Tolentino.

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