MANILA, Philippines – It’s a move that the national government hopes will help ease Metro Manila traffic, but is expected to cause inconvenience to commuters.
On Tuesday, August 6, the Southwest Integrated Terminal on reclaimed land in Parañaque City will open to house public utility buses that have franchise to ply the Cavite-Metro Manila and Batangas-Metro Manila routes.
In a press statement, Noveleta Mayor Enrico Alvarez, head of the Cavite mayors’ league, said the terminal will displace colorum or illegal buses since it will accommodate only those that are accredited by the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
However, this will also mean commuters from Cavite and Batangas will have to take more than one ride to their destinations. While before they could drop off at the LRT or MRT stations in Pasay or at any point along EDSA, they will have to take another ride from the terminal to their old drop-off points.
The new Southwest Integrated Terminal is the old Uniwide mall at the intersection of Coastal Road and Mia Road, near Macapagal Avenue.
It is the first of 3 planned integrated terminals in Metro Manila. It will be able to handle 955 buses from Cavite and Batangas, according to the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA)
The terminal has 20 loading bays. Buses awaiting their turn to load will be staged at the back of the Uniwide reclamation area.
Last week, MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino filed a petition before the LFTRB to reduce the fares of buses coming from Cavite and Batangas.
“Once the integrated terminal is operational, the route kilometrage of the buses would be reduced, which means lesser gas consumption. I think it is only just that bus companies trim down their fare by 8% of the current fare they are charging the public,” Tolentino said in a press statement.
The hearing for Tolentino’s petition will be on August 23. – Bea Cupin/Rappler.com