MANILA – (UPDATE) The 22,000 people expected to attend the Southeast Asian Games opening should take the bus to help ease traffic congestion, a spokeswoman for the Metro Manila Development Authority said Thursday.
Of the 130 buses that were granted special permits on Saturday to ferry commuters to the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, 70 percent will start their trips at Trinoma shopping mall, on the capital's northern edge, said MMDA spokeswoman Celine Pialago.
From Trinoma, the trip to Philippine Arena will cost P100 and P150 for those coming from the PITX, the integrated transport terminal in southern Metro Manila, Pialago told ANC's Headstart.
Passengers can also ride a bus from Ayala Clover Leaf in A. Bonifacio and from SM City Clark to Philippine Arena for P100 one-way fare.
Accredited buses will start to ferry passengers to the SEA Games opening venue from 12 p.m. on Nov. 30, the MMDA said.
An inter-agency meeting is scheduled later Thursday to finalize traffic management plans for the 30th edition of the biennial games.
Traffic measures, according to Pialago, include:
- No sale events during the weekend for malls along EDSA on Saturday.
- A "stop-and-go" scheme wherein regular vehicles will be stopped to give way to passing official convoys.
- The police Highway Patrol Group or HPG will escort official convoys.
- The "full component" of 2,000 MMDA personnel will be deployed throughout the games.
- Official convoys will use the fast lane or innermost lanes on the North Luzon Expressway and 2 special toll gates in Balintawak.
- Around one of the venues, the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in downtown Manila, the following roads will be closed: P. Adriatico from President Quirino to Pablo Ocampo (both directions), and along Pablo Ocampo from Taft Avenue to Adriatico (westbound only).
- Classes were suspended in the following schools upon recommendation of the MMDA: De La Salle University, De La Salle College of St. Benilde, St. Scholastica's College, and Arellano University School of Law-Manila (Dec. 2 to 7); Poveda and St. Paul College in Pasig (Dec. 2 to 6).
(Editor's Note: This story was refiled to include a clarification from MMDA spokesman Celine Pialago, in her interview with Headstart, that bus rides from organizer PHISGOC will be free.)