Dry run of EDSA provincial bus ban set on August 7

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 1)— The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has set another dry run for the highly contested provincial bus ban on the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue or EDSA next Wednesday, August 7.

MMDA, in a statement Thursday, said provincial buses will be prohibited from traversing the country’s major thoroughfare from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. Authorities, however, clarified no penalties will be imposed against violators of the scheme.

It added existing provincial bus terminals along EDSA will not be closed as of the moment.

“I am so happy to say that all of them (provincial bus operators) will participate. They understand that we have yet to see should there be loopholes here,” MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said.

The traffic scheme, which seeks to prohibit all provincial buses from picking up and dropping off passengers along EDSA, has been widely opposed by netizens and lawmakers.

Under the proposal, buses from northern Luzon should drop off all passengers at a terminal in Valenzuela City, while commuters from the south will have to alight at a terminal in Sta. Rosa, Laguna or in Parañaque City. From there, they will have to board a different bus or car to reach Manila.

The MMDA staged a dry run for the bus ban on April 21 but called it off two weeks later to iron out the details on the guidelines for the operation.

Transport officials earlier said the long-planned ban will take effect August 2, as provided by the memorandum released by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

CNN Philippines' Alyssa Rola and Melissa Lopez contributed to this report.