Bus ban not enough, Atienza tells Estrada

A bus ban is not enough to improve vehicle flow in the country’s capital, a former Manila mayor told incumbent Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada.

Former Manila mayor, now Buhay party-list Rep. Jose “Lito” Atienza said Estrada’s government should do massive clearing operations in the streets around the capitol.

“We really need better management on traffic flow not just in Manila but in the entire Metro Manila,” Atienza said.

“There are lots of things that should follow (that move like) clearing all the streets of debris, of stalled cars and stop the illegal use of narrow roads,” the lawmaker added.

Atienza lamented how many residents had managed to turn narrow roads into instant parking spaces, which had been contributing to severe traffic jams in Manila City.

The former Environment Secretary however noted that he supports Estrada’s efforts to improve the traffic condition in the Philippine capital.

“I support it. Mayor Erap has a good program but Vice Mayor Moreno gave a wrong plan for implementation,” Atienza said.

Atienza public convenience should have been prioritized before implementing drastic changes in public transportation in the city.

“That’s the only thing I don’t agree about. They should have made the changes gradually because it only affected those who depend on buses for transportation,” Atienza said.

But this, Atienza emphasized, should not stop authorities from changing traffic schemes in Manila.

Last week, Estrada ordered buses that do not have terminals inside Manila from entering the city in a bid to lessen traffic around the Philippine capital.

But the move only forced commuters to walk long distances before they can take jeepneys as the new scheme banned buses along Espana.

Commuter complaints about discomfort and heavy build-up in areas near Manila City boundaries prompted Estrada to tweak his ban on “colorum” buses last Monday.

Passenger buses with a franchise can now enter Manila City under certain conditions temporarily.

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