The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced on Wednesday that it will soon impose higher fines for motorists who violate the exclusive bus lane regulation along EDSA, the main thoroughfare in the capital region.
The move is aimed at deterring private vehicles, motorcycles, and other unauthorized vehicles from using the bus carousel lane, which is reserved for public utility buses (PUBs), ambulances, and marked government vehicles responding to emergencies.
MMDA Acting Chairman Atty. Don Artes said that the agency has observed many errant drivers who disregard the rules and enter the bus lane despite constant warnings and reminders.
“To serve as a deterrent, the MMDA, through the Metro Manila Council (MMC), decided to increase the prescribed fines and impose a corresponding suspension of driver’s license depending on the frequency of the offense,” Artes said.
According to MMDA Regulation No. 23-002, the new fines for violating the exclusive city bus lane/EDSA carousel lane regulation are as follows:
- First offense: ₱5,000
- Second offense: ₱10,000 plus one month suspension of driver’s license and required to undergo a road safety seminar
- Third offense: ₱20,000 plus one year suspension of driver’s license
- Fourth offense: ₱30,000 plus recommendation to Land Transportation Office (LTO) for revocation of driver’s license
The current fine for the violation is ₱1,000 for each offense.
Artes stressed that the increase in penalty is not anti-poor or a money-making scheme, but rather a measure to ensure smooth traffic flow and public safety along EDSA.
“Based on our data and observation, there are those who are willing to pay the ₱1,000 fines and violate the exclusivity of the bus lane because they can afford it… kalimitan kotse ng mayayaman (usually cars of the rich),” he said.
He added that the MMDA will first conduct information campaigns to inform the public of the increased fines before fully implementing them.
Artes also clarified that while the MMC has approved the no window hour coding scheme, the date of implementation is still to be determined.
“We will assess first the situation of Metro Manila roads from November 6 to 12, after the return of vacationers from the provinces for the Undas break. We expect 15 to 20% additional vehicle volume as the holiday nears, that’s the time we will decide whether or not to implement the 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. number coding scheme in Metro Manila,” he said.
The current number coding hours of 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. will still be observed until further notice.