Business group to gov't: Invest in EDSA commuting structures to ease travel woes

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 28) — The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) on Sunday called on the government to invest in wider platforms and footbridges for the EDSA busway to avoid overcrowding of passengers.

According to MAP infrastructure chair Eduardo Yap, the platforms along the busway are too narrow, which make it hard for the system to meet the high demand of passengers along the major thoroughfare.

"The busway up to now does not have its own footbridges and stations. Up to now, the MRT-3 stations are still being used for the busway, that is why you see severe overcrowding," he said.

"The platform must be long to accommodate simultaneous docking of buses para sabay-sabay magdo-dock ang mga bus [so they can dock simultaneously]. Our buses are low-capacity buses. They are short ones with just about a 50-passenger capacity," he added. "For EDSA, that is not enough. You must have at least three or four buses docking at the station in order to accommodate the large number of commuters."

Yap also recognized the importance of the EDSA busway, saying it has been effective in easing traffic and making public transport more convenient.

However, he said the current system needs to meet global standards and to achieve it, the government should partner with the private sector.

Yap said the venture could have a little effect on fares, as long as there is proper regulation.

"In our opinion, it will be possible with a private concessionaire. Under government, there are so many constraints. For instance, the budget of DOTR for the busway amounts to ₱211 million. That is not enough for two overhead footbridges," he said

"It comes with some cost but it can be regulated, like for instance the MRT-3 and that is a private line. But with the same subsidy, the fare is affordable," he added.

The EDSA busway system was implemented in 2020 when Metro Manila was under lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to MAP, it is about time the government upgrades the busway in order to give commuters more comfortable public transport options.