METRO Manila Development Authority traffic chief Bong Nebrija advised motorists and commuters last Wednesday to avoid EDSA on Saturday afternoon in anticipation of the vehicle convoys of the athletes, oficials and fans headed for the 30th SEA Games inaugural rites at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
“Kung magsa-shopping po kayo, paki-iwasan naman po sana iyong EDSA (sa Sabado), especially iyong northbound, from lunch time up to 5 in the afternoon… para hindi na po tayo makadagdag sa volume,” Nebrija addressed the public in an interview over DZMM that was posted on the ABS-CBN news website.
(If you will shop, please avoid EDSA, especially the northbound lanes from lunch time up to 5 p.m. [on Saturday] so we won’t increase traffic volume.)
He pointed out that the MMDA’s study showed end-to-end drive through the 28.-kilometer major thoroughfare took about an hour and 10 minutes for private cars and almost two hours for buses.
The contingents coming from all over Metro Manila will be shuttled and plying through special lanes through EDSA, escorted by police cars and motorcycle-mounted members of the PNP-Highway Patrol Group from their respective hotels to the 50,000-seat arena north of Manila.
It will mark the first time that the formal opening of the 11-nation regional sports showcase will be held indoors beginning at around 7 p.m.
In the wake of the earlier issues that hounded the meet, Nebrija boasted that transporting the athletes and officials to Philippine Arena would be efficient and a “source of pride” for the country.
The Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee will provide 10 point-to-point buses to ticket holders to the opening for free at various pick-up points: SM MOA Arena, Ayala Cloverleaf, Trinoma, and SM City Clark.
On the other hand, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory board will provide P2P buses to the venue from the Trinoma Mall in Quezon City and the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange along Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard in Paranaque. The fare will be P100 from Trinoma and P150 from PITX.