Carousel-like bus service routes needed for dispatch system

(Photo Courtesy of Yahoo News Philippines)

MANILA – Samar Congressman Edgar Mary Sarmiento today said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has given the go ahead for the detailed planning of the proposed synchronized bus dispatch system on EDSA and other major thoroughfares which is envisioned to end the traffic problem on EDSA and Metro Manila.

“The ultimate solution to the traffic problem is volume reduction. However, to attain it, we have to augment the railway system with the centralized and synchronized bus dispatch system. Once the commuting public will finally realize that with the train and the bus working hand in hand efficiently in moving passengers and the riding public, then we can now introduce other volume reduction measures,” Sarmiento said.

Sarmiento said this is in compliance with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) National Transport Policy to come up with the Philippine Transport System Master Plan which guide the development of an intermodal transport network, and bus system is one component of it.

For the semi-bus rapid transit system to become effective, Sarmiento suggested to rationalize the service route of the buses that plies along EDSA.

Sarmiento said that the DoTr under Secretary Tugade has already agreed to work together with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the House Committee on Transportation to put together a more detailed plan and timeline on the implementation of the bus dispatch system.

“The DoTr through Secretary Tugade and the MMDA under Chairman Danilo Lim will be on top of this whole program. The House of Representatives, upon the direction of Speaker Allan Peter Cayetano, will be there to help in terms of policy inputs and also to make sure that we can set this plan into motion the soonest time possible,” Sarmiento said.

Sarmiento said that having multiple bus service routes for EDSA buses would make it very difficult to synchronize the bus schedules and defeat the purpose of creating a predictable loading and unloading time for passengers in designated bus stops.

At present, there are buses that ply EDSA with varying origins and destinations. With this, it would be difficult to fully synchronize their schedules. The DoTr, through the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) should rationalize all the existing routes and create a carousel-like bus service route for EDSA serving all passengers traversing EDSA from north to south and vice-versa. This is suggested so that EDSA can be easily managed.

Additional “carousel-like” bus service routes can be created for passengers traversing to and from other major thoroughfares in Metro Manila. This will allow the passengers to transfer from one carousel-like bus service routes to another until it reached its final destination by having utmost single bus transfer only.

Sarmiento said that to ensure that each EDSA bus will follow their designated dispatch schedule, buses would be equipped with Global Position System (GPS) devices and RFID-readable stickers. RFID readers will be installed in each bus stop to ensure proper monitoring of the dispatched buses.

Sarmiento also has proposed that buses should already use electronic cards or beep cars in the fare system instead of using manual fare collection to control systems loss.

As for the provincial buses, Sarmiento is with the suggestion that they will be given a 10PM-4AM window slot to freely traverse along EDSA. If and when the provincial buses arrived during the day or peak time in Metro Manila, they will abide by the system to their designated terminals.

Sarmiento said that once an efficient and predictable bus system is established not only on EDSA but in other parts of Metro Manila, the volume of private cars will automatically decrease because owners will now prefer a faster, predictable, and more comfortable bus ride rather than driving in a traffic gridlock.