MAP opposes return of provincial buses to EDSA

The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) on Monday urged the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to reject the request of provincial bus operators to bypass the Integrated Bus Terminal Exchange (ITX).

“Deviating from the basic concept of the ITX program and allowing provincial buses to bypass ITX terminals will derail this vital government program, jeopardize the viability of the terminals and undermine the sanctity of contracts with private concessionaires, thereby forfeiting the many benefits of the program,” MAP said in a statement.

“For the above reasons, MAP urges the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to maintain and support the ITX program as originally designed and implemented,” he added. .

Earlier, Nagkakaisang Samahan of Nangangasiwa of Panlalawigang Bus of Pilipinas urged the government to use its old terminals in Metro Manila.

In 2019, the Land Transportation Franchise and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) issued a circular stating that northern provincial buses with terminals residing along the EDSA would have their temporary terminal in Valenzuela.

Provincial buses from South Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with terminals along the EDSA in Cubao, Quezon City and Pasay City, would have their temporary terminals at Sta. Rosa, Laguna and Paranaque.

At present, the bus ban is still in effect despite the decision of the Quezon City Regional Magistrate’s Court to overturn the said order.

MAP, for its part, believes that the ITX provides smooth passenger transfers “that promote good order and efficiency”.

The group noted that the ITX prevents provincial buses from getting stuck in city traffic and allows faster trips to provincial destinations.

MAP added that if ITX disrupts commuters’ unique driving style, DOTR can expedite the transition to the new orderly ITX system by ensuring timely and adequate city buses at the ITX terminal.

Efficient transfer, according to MAP, benefits commuters and also improves air quality due to reduced vehicle volume.

“The ITX program spans two national administrations, beginning with the previous P-Noy administration and commendably continuing under the current Duterte administration, with the ITX terminals already completed and operational. Private investors have participated in the program , committing significant investment in the construction and operation of terminal facilities,” MAP said.

To further improve people’s mobility in the National Capital Region, MAP urged DOTr to optimize the operations of major modes of transportation such as railway lines.

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