Commuters try to adapt after the implementation of the bus ban in Manila | Photo by Christine Fel Viernes
By Christine Fel Viernes and Louise Maureen Simeon

It may be hard in the first place, but you’ll soon get used to it.

Since the implementation of the Manila bus ban, Richelle Bondoc, an Adamson University student, has been waiting for nearly an hour in Kalaw Avenue to get into any public utility vehicles (PUVs).

“The bus ban made me and other commuters wait longer and harder to look for a vehicle to ride on,” Bondoc, who travels from Fairview to Manila on a daily basis, told the Streamline News via text message.

Former President now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Ejercito-Estrada imposed last July 23 a ban on buses having no terminals within the city to ease traffic congestion, which upset commuters and bus drivers.    

Janet Ombre, a daily commuter, also expressed her dismay over the newly implemented policy insisting that heavy traffic has long been prevalent in España since she was a college student.

Hindi ako makadiretso at abala dahil magdadalawang sakay pa ako,” she added.

Meanwhile, some bus drivers were also against the said policy. Ronald Tanguian of the Everlasting Liner voiced out the sudden decrease of their daily income.

Hindi kami nakakapick-up sa ibang mga kalsada, naka-cut yung trip namin,” he explained.

Even some Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) traffic enforcers are not in favor of the bus ban considering the problems commuters will face.

Mahihirapan ang mga mananakay lalo na kapag umuulan,” traffic enforcer Domingo Ramos Jr. said in an interview with Streamline News.

With the outpour of complaints from citizens, some people uttered their approval with Erap’s bus ban saying that this plan would really reduce traffic jams in Manila.

Argel Fortaleza, a bus conductor of Aicer Transportation, told the Streamline News that the ban would help in the progress of Manila. Another commuter, Eugenia Cumigad, a legal assistant, supports the new rule saying that this policy is being implemented in other places such as Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States of America.

“Sana pati yung mga colorum na jeep, idisregard na din,” she suggested.

One week after the implementation, the city government of Manila revised the policy, allowing buses with valid franchises from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to enter the vicinity of Manila.

According to Manila Police District Traffic Enforcement Unit (MPD-TEU), only ten buses per company will be allowed to pass the city. Each bus should have a signboard with its plate and body numbers. A tagging number issued by the local government and signature of Vice Mayor Isko Moreno are also required.

MPD-TEU has also identified the designated loading and unloading zones, stressing that they will strictly implement a closed door policy in between the stops.

For buses coming from Quezon City, the bus stops will only be in the following areas:

    Espana-UST footbridge

    Multi-Modial Terminal in Liwasang Bonifacio

    Park & Ride Terminal

    Taft Avenue-Rizal Park

    Quirino-Taft Avenue

For buses coming from Pasay City or Makati City, their bus stops will be in the following areas:

    Quirino-Taft Avenue

    Park & Ride Terminal

    Across Espana-A.Lacson heading to Quezon City

For buses coming from San Juan, the bus stops are at:


    Pureza- RM Blvd.

    TIP in P. Casal/Ayala Bridge

    Park & Ride Terminal

With the altered policy now in effect, there were still no buses sighted traversing España Boulevard. It was reported that 1000 buses travel within Manila every day, but only 166 buses have terminals in Manila.

In line with this, it was discovered that some bus operators only photocopied the franchise given to one line and used them for all the other lines.

With the revised policy, commuters are starting to adapt with the rule. Andy Austonian, a construction worker, emphasized its positive effects. “Kasama na sa buhay ang mahirapan. Maganda ang magiging epekto sa kalaunan.”

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