IN a bid to solve perennial traffic congestion along Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (Edsa), a provincial bus terminal is set to open next month in Caloocan City.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino on Friday said preparations are underway to transform a swampy one-hectare lot into the North Interim Provincial Bus Terminal (NIPBT).
He added that the terminal will be an end-point for at least 376 provincial buses from Northern Luzon.
Tolentino and Mayors Oscar Malapitan of Caloocan City, Antolin Oreta of Malabon City, John Rey Tiangco of Navotas and Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Winston Ginez in a meeting ironed out the needed preparations for the opening of the provincial terminal.
During the meeting, they announced that before September ends, the now privately-owned lot near the Monumento Rotunda would be ready to accommodate the provincial buses coming from Pangasinan, Tarlac and other parts of Northern Luzon.
According to Tolentino, the MMDA and city governments of Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela will pool their efforts to tidy up the open space in about two weeks to beat the September deadline for its opening.
He explained that an inter-modal system is already in place nearby where passengers disembarking from the provincial buses can gain easy access to a jeepney terminal on the eastern side, and the Light Rail Transit Line 1 and city buses, both along Edsa.
Tolentino said these buses will be allowed up to Monumento only.
The MMDA together with LTFRB and the city government of Muntinlupa earlier opened the South Interim Provincial Terminal in Filinvest in Alabang for passenger buses coming from Southern Luzon.
The opening of interim provincial terminals south and north of Metro Manila was hatched after Metro Manila mayors, MMDA and LTFRB agreed to no longer allow provincial PUBs (public use buses) to ply EDSA to reduce the volume of vehicles traversing it.
The MMDA chief said the government is relentlessly addressing all legitimate concerns regarding the operations of these interim terminals.
“These terminals are temporary and will cease operations once constructions of the integrated transport hubs are completed. Everyone, including bus operators, drivers, passengers, and the government need to adjust and cooperate so we can have discipline and order in our roads,” he added.