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Arroyo inspects 15 provincial bus loading-unloading zones on EDSA

December 5, 2008 9:08pm
MANILA, Philippines - President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Friday inspected the 15 provincial bus loading and unloading zones on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, which were built to ease traffic in Metro Manila, especially this Christmas season.

The President has directed MMDA chairman Bayani Fernando to conceptualize a new traffic improvement project because the sharing of bus stops among provincial buses and 3,000 city buses is contributing to the traffic congestion along EDSA.

Provincial bus operators have urged MMDA to construct pre-selected loading and unloading stations along EDSA for the convenience of commuters.

The 15 provincial bus loading and unloading stations are located in Magallanes, Guadalupe Bridge, Boni Serrano, Julia Vargas Avenue (Megamall), Ortigas Avenue, Timog/East Avenue, Quezon Avenue, North Avenue (Trinoma) and Balintawak, all in the northbound lane of EDSA. The southbound lane has six stations, namely West Avenue, Quezon Avenue, Timog/East Avenue, Ortigas Avenue, Ayala Avenue and Taft Avenue.

Mrs Arroyo said the designation of bus stops would end the “guerrilla practice" of picking up and unloading passengers along EDSA and would address safety issues that have been raised by commuters.

The bus stops are located under flyovers to maximize the use of space along highway.

The President visited the footbridge on Quezon Avenue, where 121,352 pedestrians walk each day.

The third lane of EDSA is devoted to provincial buses and the first and second lanes are dedicated for city buses to facilitate the loading and unloading of passengers without hampering traffic flow.

Fernando said in an interview that traffic was so congested on EDSA that the speed of vehicles traveling in the major thoroughfare crawled to 21 kilometers per hour in 2002. However, he said traffic measures have improved the speed of vehicles along EDSA to 31.88 kph in 2007.

He said the speed of vehicles traveling on EDSA this year has now improved to 40 kph, which means the highway can accommodate about 350,000 vehicles.

Fernando also said the MMDA is also trying to decongest traffic near malls and places where people shop for the holidays. Aside from assigning more traffic enforcers, he said the MMDA is putting up more footbridges. - GMANews.TV
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