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MAP hits EDSA busway use by government officials

MANILA, Philippines — Business group Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) yesterday said it is against the use of the EDSA Bus Carousel or busway by convoys of top government officials as this would make the system inefficient.

In a statement yesterday, MAP president Benedicta Du-Baladad and MAP infrastructure committee chair Eduardo Yap said that while the group supports the restrictions imposed by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on the access and use of the EDSA busway, it is of the view that only the most essential exemptions should be allowed.

“To allow a ‘convoy of five vehicles of officials’ on the busway runs counter to globally accepted busway standards that account for its efficiency,” the group said.

As such, MAP said this must not become a policy. 

Earlier, the DOTr said buses authorized by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, on-duty ambulances, fire trucks and Philippine National Police cars are allowed to use the EDSA busway.

The President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Chief Justice are also authorized to use the busway, the DOTr said.

MAP said the busway, dedicated to the use of buses to transport commuters, was introduced as a solution to the previous chaotic and inefficient bus service that was in place for many decades.

“Now that a solution has been introduced with demonstrated effectiveness, it must not be allowed to be compromised or degraded by lax or pusong mamon enforcement,” MAP said.

It said the restricted access and exclusivity of the busway, aside from its alignment on the innermost lane, are the reasons the busway and bus rapid transit system are considered the most cost-effective urban mass transit system in the world.

“All efforts must be exerted to adhere to these busway standards to protect it from being degraded,” the group said.

It said the violation of the busway standards would bring back the chaotic bus system wherein over 3,000 buses clogged the curbside yellow bus lanes and caused traffic.

The group said the EDSA busway system has been efficient, enabling 550 buses to carry as much as 450,000 passengers a day as of Dec. 27, 2022.

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