The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) have partnered with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in the conduct of an operational dry run and site inspection along EDSA today (May 30) in preparation for the gradual resumption of mass public transport operations.
The site inspection aims to ensure readiness of the transport sector and other concerned agencies, following the decision of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to downgrade the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) being enforced in the National Capital Region to a general community quarantine (GCQ).
Transport officials, led by DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, and various government agencies laid out their network plan and ironed out measures to be implemented along EDSA, which is expected to again accommodate volumes of motorists and commuters under a GCQ.
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said the new traffic scheme in EDSA, which will be done in two phases, is a historic move that will transform the usual severely-congested highway. The new scheme involves the creation of median bus lanes and rationalization of routes.
“Papasinayaan natin’ yung programa na kung saan babaguhin natin ‘yung disiplina, istraktura, at pamamaraan sa EDSA. Never na ginawa ito. Ngayong araw na ito ‘ho, gagawin natin. Sasabihin ko lang sa inyo, itong proyektong ito ay ang pinagbuklod-buklod na samahan ng MMDA, DPWH, DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government), at Kagawaran ng Transportasyon,” Secretary Tugade pointed out. [Through this program, we will transform the discipline and structure on EDSA. This has never been done. We will do that today.]
“Ang pamaraan namin na ito ay gradual, calculated at partial, sa kadahilanang hindi pa kailangang biglaan ito ‘pagkat kailangan naming balansehin ang health at safety ng ating mga mamamayan,” the transportation chief added. [This solution is gradual, calculated, and partial because it doesn’t have to be sudden since we still need to take the health and safety of our countrymen into consideration.]
During the briefing, MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim and MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia expressed their full support on the DOTr and LTFRB initiative and vowed to execute the traffic management plan.
“Ito po ang tinatawag nating “new EDSA”. ‘Yung atin pong public transportation like buses, sa left side po ‘yan. Bibigyan natin ng dedicated lane ‘yan. Approve-an po ni Chairman Lim at ng DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways). Para matanggal na po natin na nagi-stop-and-go ang mga bus sa kanan at nakikita naman natin during rush hour ang tao nasa kalsada lang, pumapara sa sasakyan, ginagamit ng tao. So in this scheme, eh imposible na po silang pumara kahit saan, kasi maglalagay po tayo ng dedicated stops – loading and unloading,” GM Garcia explained. [This is what we call the “new EDSA”. Public transportation like buses will be on the left on a dedicated lane with the approval of DPWH and Chairman Lim. This way, we will be able to remove the stop-and-go of buses on the right. We can see people on the roads during rush hour just stopping transportation. In this scheme, it will be impossible for them to stand around because we will put dedicated stops for loading and unloading.]
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