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MANILA, Philippines -- Conceding the need to ease traffic congestion and reduce the incidence of road accidents along Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue or EDSA, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority has formalized a memorandum to strictly implement the Bus or Yellow Lanes on Metro Manila’s main thoroughfares.
The MMDA said the main cause of traffic jams and road accidents are undisciplined bus drivers and passengers.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said he signed on Thursday, July 12, Memorandum Circular No. 08 Series of 2012, directing all bus operators and drivers operating in Metro Manila to strictly follow roads/policies of the agency on EDSA -- the scene of severe traffic jams since Monday, when the agency abruptly announced it was banning buses from flyovers and tunnels, and strictly enforce the yellow-lanes policy.
In a hastily called press conference on Thursday afternoon, assistant general manager Emerson Carlos laid down the new stopgap and long-term solutions.
“Except otherwise provided in this Circular, all city buses shall only be allowed to use the designated bus lanes. All provincial and city buses are not allowed to use any underpass or tunnel along EDSA. All provincial and city buses are allowed to use the Magallanes Fly-Over.”
Below are the salient points of the circular:
1.0 Provincial Buses
a) ALL PROVINCIAL BUSES SHALL BE ON THE THIRD (3rd) LANE OF EDSA AND SHALL BE ALLOWED TO TRAVERSE FLYOVERS.
b) No provincial buses shall be allowed to enter the Tunnels (Aurora Blvd., P. Tuazon, Shaw Blvd., and Ayala/Pasay Rd.) along EDSA, in which case should a third lane enter a tunnel, provincial buses shall enter the 2nd lane (bus lane) at grade and return to 3rd lane after the tunnel.
c) No provincial buses shall be allowed to load and unload along EDSA except on MMDA-authorized Provincial Bus stops: North Bound – After Magallanes/ Dasmarinas Village, Ortigas Avenue, Santolan MRT, Quezon Avenue, North Avenue (Trinoma): South Bound – Otiveros Drive Balintawak, Roosevelt Avenue, Munoz, West Avenue Quezon Avenue, Ortigas Venue (POEA), After Taft Avenue.
2.0 City Buses
a) City Buses will be dispatched sequentially on a FIRST IN – FIRST OUT procedure from MMDA-OBR terminals or centralized dispatching areas. Headway shall vary based on demand along the corridor and/or time of the day. There will be spotters along EDSA to monitor accumulation of waiting passengers.
b) City buses shall only be allowed to load and unload at designated bus stops to be enumerated below and shall strictly follow the Bus A for Bus A Loading/Unloading Bus Stations and Bus B for Bus B Loading/Unloading Bus Stations.
c) City Buses may load and unload at A and B Bus Stops, the duration of which depends on demand but shall not exceed 25 seconds.
d) First arriving bus must occupy the area nearest the marker “Start of Loading/Unloading Area.” Succeeding buses must occupy the space immediately following the first bus.
Traffic Constables shall be assigned at the Designated Bus A and B Loading/Unloading Bus Stations in order to strictly implement the 25 second maximum stop and first-in, first out of buses.
e) Absolutely NO Loading/Unloading at signalized intersections during green phase of the traffic signal.
f) CITY BUSES WHICH ARE NORTHBOUND SHALL BE ALLOWED TO USE THE ORTIGAS FLYOVER IN GOING TO THEIR DESTINATION.
3.0 Private vehicles and other PUVs
a) Jitneys, Mega Taxis, Taxis with no Passenger, and other yellow plate vehicles shall be on the second (2nd) lane of the bus (yellow) lane.
b) Taxis with passengers shall use the lanes for private vehicles.
c) Private Vehicles may only enter the PUV lanes when making right turns to side roads of EDSA or when entering EDSA from the side roads. There are appropriate markings for this purpose.
d) Loading/Unloading of passengers for private vehicles and other PUVs shall be allowed inside the first lane of bus (yellow) lane except within 50 meters from nearest intersection and the maximum duration of which shall not exceed 15 seconds.
4.0 Other Provisions
a) Close Door Policy as provided under MMDA Regulation under 04-003, Series of 2004 entitled “Strictly Implementing the Close Door Policy by Imposing Stiffer Penalties for Violations thereof, Amending for this purpose certain provisions of MMA Ordinance No. 18 Series of1991” shall be strictly implemented:
1. Loading/Unloading in areas not specified as Loading and Unloading Zone- Fine: Five Hundred Pesos (Php 500.00)
2. Failure to keep the Door/s closed in between designated stops- FINE: One Thousand Pesos (Php 1, 000.00)
For buses with only 1 door – Driver will pay the fine
For buses with 2 doors – front door open- driver will pay the fine
back door open- conductor will pay the fine
3. For buses with defective door- FINE: One Thousand Pesos (Php 1,000.00) payable by the owner.
b.) Private vehicles and taxis with passengers inside the bus (yellow) lanes except as provided in 3.0 of this MC- FINE: Five Hundred Pesos (Php 500.00) for violation of bus (yellow) lanes.
c.) PUBs outside the designated bus (yellow) lanes- FINE: Two Hundred Pesos (Php 200.00) for violation of bus (yellow) lanes.
d.) Violaton of Bus Segregation Scheme- FINE: One Thousand Pesos (Php 1,000.00)
e.) Abrupt Change of Lane (Reckless Driving) – FINE: Five Hundred Pesos (Php 500.00)