• Manila relaxes ban, gives buses limited access

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    Manila has relaxed the ban on buses a bit, limiting the number of buses entering the city and assigning specific loading and unloading zones for them.

    Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada last week issued a resolution banning buses without terminals in the city.

    The implementation of the ban on July 23 sparked an uproar from commuters and bus companies.

    Now the city appears to have eased the rules a bit.

    According to the Manila Police District Traffic Enforcement Unit (MPD-TEU) Chief Inspector Olivia Sagaysay, each bus company can bring in 10 units to Manila. But each bus must carry a signboard, signed by Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, displaying its plate and body numbers, and must load and unload passengers only in designated zones.

    For buses coming from Quezon City, the bus stops will be near the Espana-UST footbridge, Multi-Modial Terminal in Liwasang Bonifacio, Park & Ride Terminal, Taft Avenue-Rizal Park and  Quirino-Taft Avenue.

    Buses from Pasay City or Makati can stop only on Quirino-Taft Avenue, Park & Ride Terminal and across Espana-A.Lacson heading to Quezon City.

    Buses from San Juan can load and unload only on V.Mapa/Centerpoint,  Pureza-RM Blvd., TIP in P.Casal/Ayala Bridge and Park&Ride Terminal

    With the Manila ban loosened, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino hopes the problems it spawned will be sorted out in the next two days.

    MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said in a radio interview Sunday that city officials led by Moreno will discuss the ban with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Monday.

    Tolentino said the meeting will center on the ban’s legal aspect, particularly whether it violates the franchises of bus firms plying in Manila.

    He said Moreno has also asked him for a dialogue on the ban.

    “The problems and issues on the bus ban being implemented by the city of Manila will be resolved within the next two days,” Tolentino said.

    Although the MMDA is not opposing the implementation of Manila City Council Resolution No. 48, Tolentino said, it should be jibe with the overall traffic management plan for Metro Manila.

    He said he is willing to bring together city officials and sectors affected by the ban.

    He said it is better for Moreno to hold dialogues with Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay and Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista whose areas are affected by the ban.

    Tolentino issued the statement after Manila modified the ban to allow buses limited access in the city.

    The National Center for Commuter Safety and Protection (NCCSP) said they are looking at filing a case against Estrada and the other city officials to stop the implementation of the scheme.

    RITCHIE A. HORARIO

     

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