The new penalties, approved by the Metro Manila Council, apply to both private and public vehicles that violate the exclusivity of the bus lane, which is intended for public utility buses, ambulances, and marked government vehicles responding to emergencies.
According to MMDA Regulation No. 23-002, the increased fines for the violation 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 for revocation of driver’s license
The penalty will be effective on the owners of the vehicles, regardless of who was driving at the time of the violation.
MMDA Acting Chairman Atty. Don Artes said that the penalty hike is not anti-poor nor a money-making scheme, but rather a measure to ensure the safety and efficiency of the bus lane system.
“We noticed that there are several vehicles repeatedly passing [through the EDSA bus lane], and they are willing to pay ₱1,000 each time because they can afford to pay… kalimitan kotse ng mayayaman (generally, cars of the rich),” he said.
The MMDA said that the bus lane has improved the travel time of commuters from Monumento to PITX from three hours to one hour and 15 minutes. It is reserved for authorized city buses that carry 50 to 60 passengers each. The faster turnaround time of buses also reduces traffic congestion and air pollution.
The agency urged motorists to respect the bus lane and follow the traffic rules to avoid inconvenience and penalties.