The opening of the new Northbound terminal in Barangay Bata, Bacolod City, Sunday has achieved their objectives of creating a new growth center in the area, and to decongest traffic along Lacson Street and La Salle-B.S. Aquino Drive, Bacolod Councilor Dindo Ramos said yesterday.
Ramos, chairman of the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Transportation and Traffic Management, said the northbound terminal has given Bacolod another landmark, and better income to jeepney drivers, especially in Bata and Mandalagan.
A 45-day experimental period was implemented starting Sunday and his committee will collate all recommendations and come up with a final resolution, he said.
Ramos said they will first enforce the ordinance and make some amendments later, which the concerned transport groups have agreed to.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the north terminal has finally been born after several years of dreaming to have one that will help decongest traffic and provide convenience to commuters to keep up with the rapid growth and development of Bacolod City.
“We know that it will have its own birth pains and there will be adjustments to be made,” he said.
Leonardia appealed to commuters outside of Bacolod for their understanding.
He said Bacolod is the 6th biggest city outside Metro Manila with a population of about 540,000 and is one of the fastest growing cities in the Philippines.
As such, one of the major consequences of progress is the volume of cars, he said, therefore traffic becomes harder to manage.
To solve traffic problems, there must be a major innovation and infrastructure and these have pushed the city to the establishment a terminal in the north which is being operated by a private contractor, he added.
Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson said they did not meet any violent reaction yesterday, the second day of the implementation of the ordinance creating the north terminal.
Ramos said about 800 jeepneys plying the Shopping-Libertad route have been affected by the implementation of the ordinance, so they made some innovations by allowing 150 units to ply the Burgos-North terminal route, to lessen the competition, he said.
He said the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board was informed of the transfer of their route and they will amend their franchise after 45 days if the route becomes permanent.
Drivers of PUJ’s plying the Talisay-Bacolod route said their income has been affected and some commuters were not aware of the new traffic scheme.
Leonardia said the north terminal is one of the major programs and projects of this administration, aside from the slaughterhouse, the relocation sites, sanitary landfill and, hopefully, the south terminal.
They have also directed some people to study the feasibility of establishing a south terminal in Bacolod City, he said.
Also present at the press conference yesterday were Eduardo Asis and Roel Españo, Shopping-Libertad Jeepney Driver’s Association president and vice president, respectively, who said the opening of the terminal has improved traffic along La Salle-North Drive and also improved their income.*CGS