AUGUST 13, 2019 – A former chairman of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) urged the government on Tuesday to revive the Organized Bus Route (OBR) scheme in a bid to ease the worsening traffic situation on Edsa.
In an interview with One News’ Agenda, Marikina Rep. Bayani Fernando vouched for the system as the best solution to the traffic gridlock in Metro Manila.
“I suggested to the MMDA to revisit the Organized Bus Route, which is actually the best we can do now. [I] have not seen any better idea than that,” he said.
Fernando stressed the key to decongesting the 24-kilometer major thoroughfare is to manage the dispatching of provincial and city buses.
The OBR scheme grants MMDA the power to dispatch buses from various terminals across Metro Manila, depending on the number of passengers along Edsa.
With this, Fernando said, roads in the metro will only have as many buses as needed especially during off-peak hours.
Transportation expert Rene Santiago for his part believes controlling the management of provincial and city buses plying along Edsa will not actually solve traffic woes.
He said the Fernando-initiated OBR scheme had failed as “there was no actual protocol of when the bus will come in and which route it will take.”
“Trying to control the behavior of buses for which they (MMDA) don’t have power [won’t work],” Santiago said, noting the limited functions of the agency as mandated by the law.
Santiago instead urged the government to maximize technology to end the nagging gridlock in Metro Manila.
“It boils down to efficient management of the buses on Edsa, and that, to me is through a network basis under the current technology,” Santiago said.
“[OBR] has good intentions but it’s all manual. [Instead, you] can assign that to a network company to be organized by the operator themselves. If they cannot organize it within six months, then let the government impose it,” he added.
In a bid to decongest Edsa, the MMDA last week implemented the yellow lane policy, which proved to be ineffective according to no less than MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago.
“We just have to prove that we are experiencing problems in bus segregation and the dispatching of city buses in Metro Manila,” she said in a phone interview with Agenda. (Winona Sadia/ AAD)