"Fake it 'til you make it." This apparently is the new motto of public utility buses operating along EDSA as they have resorted to using phony Bus Segregation Scheme stickers to be able to load and unload in various zones designated by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
The Bus Segregation Scheme, which was launched in 2012, is an MMDA effort to lessen the number of buses that gather at designated bus stops at any given time. They were labeled as either A, B or C. PUBs marked A and B are assigned only to a specific number of bus stops while buses marked C can load and unload on all bus stops.
So far 14 buses have been caught using counterfeit stickers; they've been seized and their operators fined. Effective next week under a new Transport and Traffic Memorandum Circular, the MMDA will change the color schemes in an effort to make the forged stickers unusable. Bus A stickers will now be changed to Green Stickers; Bus B to Yellow Stickers and Bus C to Orange Stickers.
"'We cannot say that these (new) stickers will not be copied again by bus operators but at least it will take time for them to do that. Bus operators and drivers have been resorting to using counterfeit stickers to defraud the enforcers so that they can load and unload passengers anywhere they please. It's high time to put an end to bus drivers' wanton disregard of the law. The previous stickers were supposed to be valid for only one year and now that (the scheme) has reached its second year, more buses have tried to fake them, especially the C sticker," said MMDA chair Francis Tolentino.
The MMDA chairman noted that these new stickers, which are free-of-charge, are not 100% tamper-proof but the new colors will be more difficult to replicate for devious operators.
Below is the guide to bus stops of the new color scheme:
Bus A with yellow labels - stops at Magallanes, Buendia, Guadalupe, Shaw Boulevard, SM Megamall, Boni Serrano, Cubao Farmers and Ermin Garcia for northbound buses, and Ermin Garcia, Arayat Cubao, VV Soliven, Connecticut, Shaw Starmall, Guadalupe, Buendia Aveue and Mantrade for southbound buses.
Bus B with green labels - northbound will stop at Ayala Avenue, Estrella, Pioneer/Boni, SM Megamall, Ortigas Avenue, Main Avenue and Baliwag/5 Star, while the stops for southbound buses are at Kamuning, Monte de Piedad, Main Avenue, POEA Ortigas, Pioneer/Boni, Estrella and Ayala Avenue.
Bus C with orange labels are allowed to load and unload at all bus stops along Edsa.
Those caught tampering or violating the scheme will be fined P1,000 for the first offense, P2,000 for the second and P3,000 for the third and subsequent offenses.