Megawide unit studies terminal exchange for north

A UNIT of Megawide Construction Corp. is looking at developing an integrated terminal exchange in the north for the EDSA Carousel bus rapid transit system that will serve as a counterpart of the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).
“The EDSA Carousel stops at PITX, it doesn’t have a counterpart on the other side. We are trying to look for a space [in the north], we will try to develop something there,” PITX Head of Corporate Affairs and Government Relations Jason T. Salvador told reporters in a recent interview.
According to Mr. Salvador, the idea of having a terminal exchange is to serve the provincial buses to help decongest the traffic in Metro Manila.
“Ideally there should be one in the north and one in the south. Kami na ‘yong sa south (We are the one in the south). So we are trying to look for one to serve that purpose and at the same time make the whole carousel, a real carousel,” he added.
The company is currently assessing the project in the north, with the feasibility studies expected to be done halfway through the year.
Previously, the infrastructure builder announced its plan to expand PITX by developing a smaller second lot.
The project, which will be on a 1.8-hectare lot owned by the Department of Transportation (DoTr), is expected to almost double the capacity of PITX as the company expects bus riders to go back to pre-pandemic levels.
“There are a lot of plans for lot two. This will be another PITX. Now we are using that as a parking lot for our provincial buses. We call that our staging area. But there are already plans, so hopefully within the year magawa na natin (we can finally do it),” Mr. Salvador said.
“As of now, we are averaging around 120,000 passengers per day in PITX. Although the terminal is built to accommodate 200,000 passengers per day, it’s getting crowded already. We want more convenience, more spaces for passengers, more shops and more restaurants,” he added.
According to Mr. Salvador, the company is just waiting for the go-signal from the DoTr and for plans to be laid down.
“The plans are being done. If it gets approved, if everything is laid down, then probably we can start this year but if not, earlier next year,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Salvador said the company is interested to bid to be the operator of the EDSA busway that plies Metro Manila’s main highway if the government decides to privatize it.
“Ideally, it should be ours. The beauty of it is the passengers will have the reliability in the departure of the bus and the availability of the bus,” he said. “The government has been talking about it, that they will privatize the EDSA busway operations. If they are serious [about] that then maybe we can consider.”
Mr. Salvador said if the privatization happens, Megawide will have to put up another company to lead the operations.
The company has an advantage as it has studied the supply and demand of the buses as the operator of an integrated terminal exchange, said Mr. Salvador.
“We know the capacity, we know the demand of the public at what time and what day,” he added. — Justine Irish D. Tabile