Proposal to remove bus lane needs study, says MMDA

Traffic is back to pre-pandemic times. In fact, it might be even worse these days with the number of cars around. But apparently, a consortium wants to return the old scheme of buses around EDSA, and that means getting rid of the EDSA carousel bus lane.

Mega Manila Consortium (MMC), which is composed of bus operators plying different routes along Metro Manila and nearby cities, proposed the idea. They stressed that since the pandemic is over, they want the old routes back along with reactivating their full fleet of buses.

“The pandemic happened that’s why we were out from EDSA,” said Juliet De Jesus, Internal Affairs Officer of MMC. She also stressed that bus operators are losing money because bus volume along EDSA was reduced to only 550 units, from the previous 3,000.

Bus operators wants to remove EDSA Carousel, MMDA says DOTr to decide image

Obviously, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced that the removal of the EDSA Carousel a.k.a. EDSA bus lane, will bring back pre-pandemic congestion. This is why the agency said it should be thoroughly studied first.

“Commuter travel time along EDSA was cut in half because of the EDSA Bus Carousel… Bringing back passenger buses along EDSA under the old system would cause traffic congestion,” said MMDA Acting Chairman, Atty. Don Artes.

The MMDA meanwhile maintains that the government has already spent on EDSA Bus Carousel and Bike Lane. At present, its stations are still being improved. Lanes along EDSA have also been narrowed under the road diet scheme to accommodate the bicycle lane.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has also completed its Bike Master Plan and has continued to build infrastructure under the project. “It is the DOTr that must decide whether or not the EDSA Bus Carousel should be removed,” added Artes.

Traffic is already bad in its current state. But on the other hand, bus operators have operating expenses to take care of as well. Let's just hope a common ground can be established so we won't have to deal with swerving buses and blocked lanes ever again.