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Dry run for provincial bus ban pushes through amid heavy EDSA traffic

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) personnel began implementing the proposed dry-run of the ban on provincial buses on EDSA early Wednesday morning.

However, as seen on Ivan Mayrina's report on Unang Balita, an aerial view of EDSA Kamuning past 7 a.m. showed how much of the south-bound lane was taken over by slow or unmoving city buses.

MMDA traffic chief Bong Nebrija, who was on the scene, said that very few bus operators were taking part in the dry run.

"I've been here since 5 in the morning. I've been counting the number of provincial buses dito, and I think it's more than the one who will be participating, given na may TRO (temporary restraining order) talaga," Nebrija told GMA News' Ivan Mayrina on Unang Balita.

"Hindi po sila (operators) nag-participate as agreed upon. Anyway, I will just give the report to our GM (general manager) na ganyan po ang nangyari. Maybe later on he will decide whether to cancel it or not," he added.

Traffic enforcers have also been receiving complaints from motorists stuck at choke points.

Nevertheless, Nebrija said they were determined to go through with the dry run, which aims to test if their proposed provincial bus ban will be effective in easing traffic congestion in Metro Manila.

"Maraming ngang nagrereklamo... maraming sumisigaw na pasahero but that's what we can do," Nebrija said.

He also stressed that city buses are expected to follow the yellow lane policy, especially as both provincial and point-to-point buses were not allowed to traverse EDSA.

"Mga city buses po 'yan, dapat po sila sa yellow lane. Nilabas na po natin ang provincial, nilabas na po natin ang P2P (point to point), lahat po, halos lahat nasa labas na ang mga buses na 'yan, pero makikita niyo po makikita pa rin po talaga ang mga city buses," he added.

Nebrija also appealed for motorists to bear with traffic authorities, who were also positioned at other parts of EDSA to implement the bus ban.

"Pinapatupad lang po namin ang batas. We're trying to make a resemblance of order here on EDSA...Sa mga pasahero, bigyan niyo naman po kami ng tsansa na ayusin 'to," Nebrija said. —Margaret Claire Layug/KBK, GMA News