Photo by Michael Varcas

Provincial bus ban will ease EDSA traffic by 14%

While implementation of the provincial bus ban is still uncertain, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) assures motorists of smooth traffic flow on EDSA based on its “comprehensive” study predicting outcomes if provincial buses are banned from the thoroughfare.

A copy of a comparative analysis report done by the agency showed that the travel time for both lanes – southbound and northbound – will be reduced by 14 percent only if the 8,000 provincial buses are barred from entering EDSA.

The current travel time on EDSA is at one hour and three minutes, and should provincial buses be banned, the MMDA anticipates travel time of 54 minutes on one of the busiest thoroughfares in the metropolis.

MMDA’s analysis also showed that the travel time on its southbound lane, from Aurora Boulevard in Quezon City to Magallanes in Makati City, will be reduced by six minutes from the existing travel time of 78 minutes.

The travel time on EDSA’s northbound lane, from Magallanes to Aurora Boulevard, will significantly be cut by 12 minutes, or 25 percent of the existing 47-minute travel time.

As far as the travel speed is concerned, the MMDA said that southbound motorists can drive as fast as 9.038kph as compared to the existing 8.341kph, while northbound vehicles can drive 18.480kph compared to the 13.803 kph rate today.

MMDA traffic czar Bong Nebrija explained that the study was made through their “vehicle simulators” where their engineering team does the volume count of vehicles on EDSA during both rush hours and non-rush hours.

“We put in the vehicle simulators kung ilan ang (on the number of cars, motorcycles) and provincial buses and from there, binibiling namin (we compute) travel time and speed if wala yung ibang (the other units aren’t there), like in this case, the provincial buses,” Nebrija said.

Nebrija defended the accuracy of the MMDA study, as he emphasized that they do the same process when doing re-routing schemes whenever there are road repairs and projects. As far as the simulation on the provincial bus ban is concerned, Nebrija said that they do the study in Cubao and Makati City as they are among those considered as “chokepoint” areas in the metropolis.

Nebrija said that they will still push through with the provincial bus ban as planned, but said that they could not yet tell if when it will be implemented pending guidelines from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

The MMDA has met with some transport groups and other stakeholders in Makati City yesterday afternoon to discuss the implementation of the provincial bus ban and LTFRB’s policy on UV Express point-to-point routes. – Robertzon Ramirez/STAR

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