Following incidents of public utility buses (PUB) colliding with concrete barriers at the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (Edsa) exclusive busway, an official of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Tuesday said the barriers are not to blame―rogue drivers are.
In a message to reporters, DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope Libiran said the width of the Edsa Busway follows the international standard of 3.2 to 3.5 meters, noting that even if the width is increased, rogue drivers can still cause accidents.
“’Yan ang sinusunod ng MMDA [Metropolitan Manila Development Authority]. Pero kahit gawin mong five to 10 meters ‘yan, kung nuknukan naman ng pagka-pasaway at barubal ang bus driver, babangga pa rin sa barrier ‘yan (That’s the standard followed by the MMDA. But even if we extend that to five to 10 meters, drivers who disobey traffic rules will still crash into these barriers),” Libiran said.
Of the minimum 36,000 trips that city buses could have made at the Edsa Busway in the last two months, she said there have been less than 10 recorded incidents of buses colliding with barriers.
“Bakit naman karamihan may disiplina? Huwag ninyong isisi sa barrier. Hindi gumagalaw mga ‘yan unless banggain. Hindi sila ang problema. Ang problema, nasa mga driver na walang disiplina (Why does the majority have discipline? Accidents should not be blamed on the barrier. These do not move unless they’re hit. They are not the problem. The problem lies in drivers with no discipline),” Libiran said.
The message came after Libiran, along with other officials from the DOTr took a ride on a modern PUB with members of the media on Tuesday for a tour along the Edsa Busway.
In a Facebook post, the DOTr said the busway, located mostly at the two innermost lanes in Edsa and separated from other lanes using concrete barriers, has reduced the average trip duration of city buses from two to three hours to 45 minutes.
“Layunin ng pamahalaan na maipresinta sa mga commuter na ang Edsa Busway ay ang matagal nang inaasam na mass transport system na magbibigay ng mas mabilis, mas efficient, mas convenient, at mas ligtas na byahe (The government aims to present the Edsa Busway as the long-awaited mass transport system that will provide faster, more efficient, convenient, and safer trips),” the DOTr said.
On Monday, a city bus from MSJ Tours collided with multiple concrete barriers along Edsa–Santolan, resulting in both the driver and operator being issued show-cause orders by line agencies of the DOTr as part of its investigation into the incident.
On July 17, a bus from JoannaJesh Transport sideswiped multiple concrete barriers in Edsa, causing one barrier to hit a civilian vehicle while another fell on the road and created an obstruction. (PNA)