By Joseph Almer Pedrajas
The Valenzuela Gateway Complex Terminal (VGCT) is ready to accommodate the influx of passengers once provincial bus terminals along EDSA are removed.
In an interview with The Manila Bulletin on Monday, VGCT Supervisor Marinelo Salapare, VGCT said that at least 10,000 passengers are recorded at the terminal daily.
He added that the number is expected to triple once the provincial bus ban along EDSA takes effect.
But Salapare assured that they are “fully ready” to accommodate the passengers, coming from and going to the northern part of the country, who are expected to use the terminal.
“We have built a two-floor passengers area where passengers can wait for their buses to depart,” he said. “The second floor is air-conditioned. It is equipped with clean urinals. It also has diaper-changing and breastfeeding stations.”
“For provincial buses, we have already extended this lot to provide a parking space for them. This terminal can accommodate around 235 buses at a time,” he added. “We also have a separated area for other waiting buses,”
Meanwhile, for passengers going to EDSA, Salapare said that the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has already assured that enough buses will be provided.
“There are around 200 buses available here daily. And we will add more,” the terminal supervisor said.
For commuters going to places nearby like Valenzuela City, Salapare said that they have already coordinated with jeepney driver associations to add more vehicles.
Mayor Rex Gatchalian, in a phone interview, also said that they will add more UV Express Vehicles routes for the connectivity of the commuters.
In terms of addressing emergency situations, Salapare said that a rescue team was always ready to respond.
“Earlier, a lady collapsed. But in just few seconds, our team rescued her,” he said.
“We will also add more security personnel for the safety and security of the commuters,” he added.
This Monday, a dry run prohibiting provincial bus drivers to unload passengers along EDSA started.
But Salapare said that they have not yet felt its effects since provincial bus terminals are still on EDSA.
“But we are always ready. We are just waiting for the go-signal of the MMDA [to start accommodating provincial buses],” Salapare said.
The Valenzuela City government is set to conduct a meeting with the concerned agencies this week to further discuss their plans for commuters who will be traveling north using the Valenzuela terminal, Zyan Caiña, chief public information officer, added.