I have the privilege to join with Doctors Ricardo Sigua and Hilario Sean Palmiano, both professors for the National Center for Transportation Studies of the Institute of Civil Engineering of UP Diliman, as representatives of the Institute in attending the public consultation of the government regarding the traffic on EDSA. The program was entitled as USAD EDSA.
Representatives of many transport groups were also in attendance to the event that was held last September 24, 2015 at the GT Toyota Auditorium in University of the Philippines Diliman in Quezon City. The event was mainly a decongestion consultation of the government, with Secretary Jose Almendras from the Office of the Cabinet Secretary as the opening speaker.
The figure above indicated that the main cause of the traffic is the abnormal ratio between the passenger displacement and the road share occupancy. The buses are not the main culprit in the EDSA Congestion.
The figure above shows trend of the supply and demand curves on EDSA on various times of the day. With the exception of the period between 11 pm to 4 am, the demand was always higher than the supply of the passenger transport, especially around the afternoon rush hours where almost 10,000 passengers were not accommodated by the transport vehicles.
To add with the fact of the excessive ratio between the passenger displacement to the vehicular number, the trend above shows that the motor vehicles are continuously increasing, even though some were unnecessary.
The Philippine government aims to maximize the vehicle throughput by planning and implementing some of these actions:
- Traffic Management
- Bus Reforms
- Road Engineering (Increasing at-grade intersections)
As of now these were the actions that were being tested:
- Designated the PNP-HPG as the lead enforcer in six major chokepoints: Taft, Guadalupe, Shaw, Ortigas, Cubao and Balintawak
- Reduced the MMDA personnel deployed to EDSA from 500 to 250
- Consulted various stakeholders (PEZA locators, port users and bus operators) on rposed traffic schemes, rules and regulations.
- Implemented rerouting of Southbound provincial buses from EDSA to C5 from 6:00 – 9:00 AM;
- Reiterated use of yellow lane for buses.
- Re-imposed the South route truck regulation
- Tested and introduced new traffic schemes and regulations on certain roads and intersection.
- Implemented initial road engineering works on critical U-turn slots.
- Cleared major obstructions on sidewalks and streets.
Here are the summaries of their proposals for full and permanent implementation
- Yellow lanes shall be exclusive for public vehicles and HOVs
- Allow provincial, express, MRT, chartered, and shuttle buses to use flyovers/underpasses, but no swerving from previous/towards next bus stop
- Prohibit cars from using bus lanes on non-transition sections
- Start operations of Terminal Appointment-Based System fro the International Container Ports.
- Create MMDA Task Force C5
- Study one-way traffic scheme for Makati-Mandaluyong and Estrella-Pantaleon bridges.
- Truck cannot turn left to C.P. Garcia, instead being route to the Luzon Ave. Flyover.
- Lift number coding for public buses with a condition of…..
- Launching regular, limited-stop, and premium express buses and
- Requiring buses to install GPS tracking
- Also submitting themselves to the bus monitoring and dispatch appointment system
- While introducing new bus routes
- Continue road engineering works such as relocating or extend bus stops, installation of collapsable bollards and removal of obstructions and illegal vendors.
- Rail extension projects on LRT-1 and LRT-2.
- Acquisition of new trains of MRT-3 which will come within 3 years.
- Construction of new lines (LRT-4, LRT-6 and MRT-7. For more details google the following proposed lines)
- Construction of the North-South Railway traversing Malolos, Manila up to Los Baños.
- Increasing the number of bridges that crosses the Pasig River, the main reason for the build-up of vehicles because few bridges such as the one on EDSA and C5 were crossing the river. Starting by the construction of Sta. Monica-Lawton Bridge connecting Bonifacio Global City and Ortigas Business District.
We now move to the presentation of the Department of Works and Highways which was presented by Secretary Rogelio Singson.
Department of Public Works and Highways
The DPWH will spearhead the construction of the road division between the buses and the cars. The diagrams of the typical yellow bus lanes which will be exclusive only to buses was shown below:
Transition zones are to be put 90 meters before the intersections, flyovers or underpasses to give way to right turning vehicles. Other than these transition zones, cars will not be allowed to enter the bus lanes. The figures below are enough to show the features of this proposition:
The implementation started already with the bus stops at Guadalupe southbound. The next thing in their projects was the construction of the Sta. Monica-Lawton bridge, which will connect Bonifacio Global City and Ortigas Business District. For people to know, I would like to tell you that there has been shortage of bridges that crosses the Pasig Rivers, that was why the bridges on EDSA and C5 served as the bottleneck of the vehicular flows. Upon the construction of the bridge, DPWH hopes to redirect some of the vehicles who were having a hard time entering and exiting the Bonifacio Global City.
With addition to that, signage regarding the rule on yellow box on intersection are being put to educate the ignorant driver who should have learned this from their driver’s license examination.
The placement of the signage, which are temporary as of now is illustrated on the figure below:
But wait there is more! Signalization on some intersections will replace the U-turn roundabout scheme on these following junctions:
- EDSA – Congressional – Roosevelt
- EDSA – Quezon Ave.
- EDSA – Roxas Boulevard
Department of Transportation and Communication
The vision of DOTC regarding the traffic congestion on EDSA is to make public transportation as the number one choice of every person for their daily commute even if they have the option of using a car or motorcycle. The DOTC attributes the increasing number of private vehicles, congestion on bus stops and on-street competition among buses/jeepneys as the leading causes of traffic. The public needs to preserve the high share of public transport use on roads, which sadly is being chipped off by the growing number of private vehicles, unlike the mass transport systems which remained stagnant in numbers.
Upon the analysis of routes and services of PUVs and private vehicles, it is found out that the majority of the commuters are coming from the northeast end of Metro Manila(Fairview, San Juan Del Monte).
I hope you read and and understood the last three images for these were the study of the movements of transit vehicles where they noted some areas of high activities. To cope with that, the DOTC has been planning on improving the network of mass transit routes with the following considerations, which I dearly hope that the business and local government section will not meddle into:
- Having 15 trunk-feeder routes (plus EDSA)
- Linking areas of highest demand
- Creating network of transit routes
- Strong interchange between routes.
The networks have areas of interest indicated in the photo below:
These are the medium- to long-term solutions that the DOTC will provide:
- BRT on:
- Quezon Avenue (On which our group in CE 197 has formulated)
- MRT-3 Capacity Expansion (With the purchase of higher capacity trains, increasing the capacity to 60%. Increasing number of accommodated passengers from 560,000 to 1,000,000, a day.
- LRT – 1 Extension (to Bacoor), as well as the construction of LRT-6 (Just Google it!)
- LRT – 2 East and West Extensions (West to Tondo; East To Antipolo)
- MRT-7 (Commonwealth Avenue; Fr. SM North to San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan)
- LRT- 4 which will run from Ortigas to Taytay
- The North-South Railway, which will extend far north to Malolos and south to Los Baños.
The MMDA, in cooperation with DOTC, has launched the Express Bus, which aimed to:
- Get commuters to their destinations in shorter time
- Provide commuters with additional options for public transport
- Introduce higher quality service to attract car users to use buses.
- Significant travel time savings for commuters
- Large demand from riding public
- No negative impact on travel speeds in mixed traffic lands
- Huge economic benefits for very little investment
- Point-to-point (Non-stop) Service (with Regular and Premium Categories)
- Loading and unloading only at off-street areas or terminals (meaning parking lots of malls or special bus stops which is to be arranged by bus operators who will invest into this scheme)
- Airconditioned 11-13 meter bus; wifi; GPS; CCTV; Automatic Fare Collection
- Fares proposed by the applying bus company but for LTFRB approval
- No standing passengers
- Drivers on fixed salary and benefit
- Online and mobile phone apps for seat reservation/ticketing
- EDSA Limited Stop Service
- Existing EDSA Aircon City Bus Operators to shift 10% of their units to Limited Stop Service within 2 months (20% by 6 mos.; 30% by 12 mos.)
- Use existing (but fewer) bus stops
- Maximum 2 stops on EDSA per direction; outside of EDSA, there will be a maximum of 6 stops in each direction. Total of 8 stops each way only.
- Route and stops determined in consultation with bus operators
- Route may be shorter than current franchise route so long as it follows same alignment
- Up to 20% higher fare can be proposed, but fare subject to LTFRB approval.
Regular vs Premium
- Could be existing EDSA aircon bus
- Normal tourist bus seating configuration (3-2 seating)
Premium(Application to operation of a bus company can be as short as 30 days):
- Maximum four seats per row (business class/reclining type)
- EURO IV or better emissions.
- Much rest time for passengers
- Quality time for passengers
- With luxury seats and amenities, such as cafes and toilets
Routes for Point-to-Point Service being proposed:
- Fairview to Makati CBD
- Fairview to Ortigas Center
- Fairview to BGC
- Alabang to Makati CBD
- Alabang to Ortigas Center
- Alabang to BGC
- North EDSA to Makati CBD
- Ortigas Center to Makati CBD
- Cubao to Makati CBD
- 10% of EDSA aircon city buses offering express services by end of 2015.
- Point-to-point Express Bus to be launched by October 2015.
Benefits of Express Services:
- Faster travel time
- Higher quality services
- More travel options
For Bus Operators
- More round trips with faster travel time
- Potential to charge higher fares for better service
- Expand market by attracting private vehicle users
- Decongest bus stops
- Reduction in private vehicle use
- More efficient public transport option (increased people throughput)
With all of these propositions of the government being laid out to us, it is then our duty to support the implementation of these schemes. If you want change, then you must support these propositions by the government. The government is willing to entertain more suggestion from the public. Comment below if you have something more in mind.