Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade points to airbridges over EDSA. Others in photo are MMDA Chair Danilo Lim, MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia and Eduardo Yap, bus reform advocate and FINEX national affairs committee chair.
Business group hails bus system transformation on EDSA
( - June 1, 2020 - 10:55am

MANILA, Philippines — The two-pronged reform of the bus system on EDSA, a main thoroughfare in Metro Manila, which lifted lockdown restrictions on Monday, is a "bold, historic and game-changing" move, finance leaders said in a statement.

The Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX), which earlier proposed a revitalized scheme in hopes to decongest the problematic EDSA, is optimistic that the Department of Transportation's action will speed up travel for millions of commuters.

The scheme is also seen to benefit bus operators who stand to generate more revenue from the optimized passenger capacity and maximized bus utilization, the group said.

"We are pleased to note that the inclusive approach being adopted will leave no operator behind," the statement read.

Economic opportunity losses previously estimated at P2.4 billion per day have risen to approximately P3.5 billion before the enhanced community quarantine was imposed over Luzon.

Eduardo H. Yap, chairman FINEX's national affairs committee, who was among those who led advocacy efforts to enact the reforms, admitted that the adjustment period will be challenging and requiring a paradigm shift, but the eventual results should be encouraging.

"The public will very much welcome the upcoming improvements over the status quo ante," Yap said.

The reforms

Transportation authorities will roll out two "complementary" structural changes. The first is to move the dedicated busways to the innermost lanes of the avenue, effectively phasing out the yellow bus lanes to which regular gridlocks were attributed.

Only accredited public buses will have access to the inner buslanes. This should accommodate more commuters who will reach their destinations quicker and enable road officers to manage the system better.

Consequently, the buses that ply EDSA will have to be retrofitted with left-side doors.

"If properly implemented, they will be far more efficient than the defunct yellow bus lanes," Yap explained in the same statement from FINEX.

The new EDSA bus scheme moves the dedicated lane for buses to the innermost part of the highway, while cyclists take the outermost lane.


The former yellow bus lanes, meanwhile, has been converted to a cycling lane, leaving the center of the road to private vehicles.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade previously said that if the temporary transformation proves viable, the department will implement it permanently.

The second batch of reforms involves rationalizing bus franchises and restructuring of routes.


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