MMDA chair Francis Tolentino should be forthright with us and tell us---who will benefit more from this scheme of theirs---the commuters or mall owners? Government is spending close to 1.3 billion pesos for these terminals. These terminals, mind you, are part of a bigger shopping mall complex run by the Sys of SM, the Gokongweis of Robinson's Mall, and of course, the Gotianuns of Filinvest, not to mention, the owners of Uniwide Sales whose jurassic shopping mall along Coastal Road is being converted into a bus terminal for commuters from Cavite.
Tolentino should reveal how much money did they fork out to build these terminals? Where did all those monies go?
MMDA and the mall owners plan to get 350 pesos per bus per parking. That's 2.450 million pesos per hour's worth of fees to be collected, if all 7,000 provincial buses go to these terminals. Since these buses only use these terminals at least twice, MMDA and terminal owners will earn around 5 million pesos per day.
In a month's time, 150 million pesos worth of fees. In a year's time, 1.8 billion pesos will be collected from bus companies by the MMDA and mall developers.
These fees will definitely be shouldered by the commuters as a pass-on. Hence, expect a bus fare hike as soon as the MMDA implements this bus terminal relocation plan.
Who benefits? It will be the mall owners who will reap the benefits because they will not just earn from a terrific surge of foot traffic into their malls, they will also be compensated from the fees.
And to think that only 6% of all vehicular traffic that uses EDSA are provincial buses.
For the sake of lowering EDSA traffic by 6%, we, the commuters, will be suffering from higher bus fares caused by these terminal fees.