MMDA to test left side bus lanes when public transport resumes

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is studying moving the bus lanes to the leftmost side. The move is hoped to control the amount of passengers waiting for buses as well as prevent them from loading and unloading on the street. The agency also believes this system will allow buses to travel faster along EDSA.

The MMDA plans to test the new scheme once quarantine restrictions are eased in Metro Manila and buses are allowed to operate again. Last week, the agency already hinted at the idea while planning new bicycle lanes along EDSA.

Yung mga bus po natin, ilalagay na sa left side. Lalagyan natin ng barrier ‘yan para at least mawala na sa bangketa ang tao at ‘yung ating loading and unloading lanes ay dedicated na talaga para hindi na sa kalsada nagsasakay at nagbababa (The buses will be on the left side. We’ll put a barrier. This is to clear up the sidewalk. There will be dedicated loading and unloading lanes so they don’t board on the street),”said MMDA General Manager, Jojo Garcia, in an interview with DZMM Teleradyo.

Garcia said stations of the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) will be used as loading and unloading stations of passengers, allowing them to monitor physical distancing. The MMDA have identified 15-16 loading and unloading areas along EDSA.

MMDA traffic operations chief, Edison Bong Nebrija, has recently uploaded photos of a few of the planned stations to his social media page.

While the MRT stations are on the left side of the buses, the agency also has a solution for loading and unloading.

Ang mangyayari, dahil ang mga bus natin nasa kanan ang pinto, kailangan po pupunta sa median lane ‘yan sa gitna (Since buses have their doors on the right, they will have to go to the median lane in the middle),” he added.

Islands may be constructed to aid in loading and unloading. Commuters will then use the footbridges of MRT-3 stations to cross EDSA. Footbridges will be constructed where there are none.

The exact date when this will be implemented has yet to be announced as the IATF-EID have yet to allow buses to resume operations.