In what was supposed to be a bid to ease traffic, the MMDA has begun to strictly implement the Yellow Lane Policy, amndating all city buses to stay within the 2 rightmost lanes of EDSA. But it seems to not have achieved the desired results.
Since yesterday, motorists and commuters took to social media to vent their frustration towards heavier-than-usual traffic jams. Apparently there was some confusion when provincial buses were ordered to stay within the yellow lane as well. This supposedly caused even more traffic as the said buses are supposed to be able to take the third lane instead. The resulting gridlock continues to earn the ire of citizens.
Commuters aired their frustration towards the policy’s implementation online, and to take a jab at the MMDA itself. Tempers were fast to flare, especially for those caught inside a barely-moving bus on their way to work, and such backlash could be expected. Quick to note that buses were already congested in the allotted two yellow lanes, some netizens went so far to say that the MMDA is anti-poor with the said policy.
While some had adverse reactions, some still decided to air their sentiments out in a calmer, albeit frustrated manner. With a sizeable chunk of the Metro Manila workforce taking buses to work, many were late in getting to work. The MMDA remained steadfast in their social media replies, though, stating that the congestion was because of the Yellow Lane Policy, nothing more.
According to sources, MMDA's EDSA traffic czar Edison Nebrija was quoted as saying, “That’s why we want to reduce the number of buses on EDSA by 50 percent”. Yesterday’s traffic only served to show how buses contribute to the congestion along EDSA, which in turn cites the need for the provincial bus ban on EDSA (sic).
In what could be another contributing factor to today’s traffic, the supposed halting of the provincial bus ban did not push through, as reported earlier, and the MMDA is quick to build on its dry-run. The yellow lanes have been in place since 2003, while the MMDA was still under Chairman Bayani Fernando. According to MMDA Resolution No. 03-28, "The 1st or the kerb lane of the Yellow or PUV lanes will be for the exclusive use of the city buses, other PUVs (provincial buses, jeepneys, mega taxis, taxis with no passenger, and other yellow plate vehicles) will be required to use the 2nd lane of the PUV lanes".
In its earlier days, the dedicated bus lanes were sought to minimize road congestion. Along with dedicated loading and unloading zones, its implementation was to be the solution increase travel speeds and decreased travel times. The provisions have obviously been modified in the past sixteen years, and now, they have been restricted for bus use exclusively.
According to MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago, the MMDA has not yet received the court order that stops them from implementing the said ban. Without the writ of Preliminary Injunction, the ban will be implemented. Its effects, for better or worse, remain to be seen.
So how was your EDSA commute today?