WANTED: new sites for Metro Manila bus terminals

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is scouting for potential locations for new provincial bus terminals in the North and South end points of Metro Manila.

The terminals would serve as ports in the DOTC's Integrated Transport System (ITS) Project. ITS intends to make commuting to the provinces more convenient by linking up with available mass transport systems, like the LRT/MRT and PNR.

Target locations, deadline

ITS intends to setup 1 bus terminal north of Metro Manila for provincial buses from Northern Luzon and 2 terminals in the south, one by SLEx and the other by Cavitex for provincial buses from Southern Luzon.

With that end in mind, DOTC expressed a preference for finding lots near the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx), the Coastal Road and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) or within 300 meters from the nearest MRT (Metro Rail Transit), LRT (Light Rail Transit), or PNR (Philippine National Railways).

Lot owners who hold 3-7 hectares within Metro Manila are invited to submit proposals to the DOTC. Submissions will be accepted until April 16 and can be addressed to Atty. Rene K. Limcaoco, Undersecretary for Planning,Unit 169, 16F The Columbia Tower, Brgy. Wack-wack, Ortigas Avenue, Mandaluyong.

The DOTC stressed that it would not reimburse parties for costs incurred to prepare the proposal and that it would accept the proposal that was "most adventageous to the government."

Declogging metro roads

The ITS project has become a priority for the government as traffic continues to grow. Data from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) shows that of the total 13,067 buses clogging Metro Manila roads each day, 7,368 or 60% are from the provinces.

Of the 85 provincial bus terminals currently in existence, 46, or more line the already busy EDSA. The DOTC realizes the need to lessen traffic on these main thoroughfares.

But it remains to be seen if this long term solution will be only a bandaid to Metro Manila's transit woes since the available mass transportation systems that would be expected to handle the influx of passengers already have their own heavy traffic to contend with. - Rappler.com