The government plans to set up a series of modern transport hubs outside the metropolis. Three new terminals are anticipated to lift the traffic caused by provincial buses passing through Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA). Once built and fully operational, the provincial buses will no longer be able to enter the main highway EDSA.
These are the following terminals:
• North Transport Terminal for provincial buses from Pangasinan, Tarlac, and other parts of Northern Luzon entering via the North Luzon Expressway, MacArthur Highway, Mindanao Avenue, Quirino Avenue, and Commonwealth Ave;
• South Transport hub for provincial buses from Laguna, Quezon and other parts of Southern Tagalog entering via the South Luzon Expressway, and
• Southwest Integrated Terminal Exchange (SWITX) for provincial buses from south of Metro Manila—Batangas and Cavite entering via Coastal Road and the Manila-Cavite Expressway.
Cavite commuters will only be able to reach the metropolis as far as the SWITX terminal in Parañaque City when riding provincial buses. Commuters will then find another mode of public transportation to get to their desired destination within Metro Manila.
The SWITX terminal is expected to be inaugurated next April.
According to Thoma Orbos, Metro Manila Development Authority general manager and concurrent Transportation undersecretary for roads and infrastructure, “At least 1,000 buses will be taken out of Edsa daily for the comfort and safety of our Cavite and Batangas brothers going to Metro Manila and greatly help decongest Metro Manila traffic.”
Finding a convenient mode of transportation will be easier once the Light Railway Transit-Line One (LRT-1) Extension project is completed. The SWITX will be standing next to the new station covered by the LRT-1 extension.
“Buses entering the capital will load and unload passengers in this inter-modal facility where commuters can transfer from one transport mode to another with cabs and other public utility vehicles available,” said MMDA chairman Danilo Lim
The SWITX terminal will follow the layout of an airport terminal, complete with passenger terminal buildings, embarkation and disembarkation bays, staging bays, ticketing and baggage handling facilities, and park-ride facilities.
There will also be a new process for booking buses. The On-line Bus Ticketing System will be implemented for a better managing, tracking, and monitoring the movements of passengers and buses alike. The new terminal will also have a large screen to display the departure schedule of buses which will help control queuing, loading, and unloading.
Aside from the systemized booking, the SWITX will also be providing Wi-Fi and charging areas. While the passengers are waiting, air-conditioned lounges and waiting areas, retail stores, and food centers are available. Drivers will also enjoy their own retiring room.
For security, there are CCTV cameras and baggage scanners that will be installed and security personnel who will be stationed 24/7. As around 3,300 provincial buses and 12,000 city buses pass through EDSA daily, the traffic on the main road is seen to be controlled by providing the right public transportation system.
Source: Manila Standard