EDSA: The Yellow Lane

Almost every Filipino knows EDSA, although not everyone may know that it’s a major thoroughfare in Metro Manila. It’s a road that is [in]famous and unique for many things. EDSA One, EDSA Dos, EDSA Tres and the additional (?) episodes that will rival the plot of Starwars.

Of course, there’s the monstrous heavy traffic which remains unrivaled in Philippine territory, the countless blue MMDA men, the hide-and-seek pink steel fences and, yes, the yellow lane. With that explosion of colors, it’s no wonder why some still refer to the “number-coding” scheme as the “color-coding” scheme.

Buses swerving out of yellow lane, EDSA

The Yellow Lane is (or was?) supposed to separate the public utility vehicles (PUVs) from the private vehicles. I must say it was effective, specially together with the bus-dispatching scheme (I forgot how it’s called, but it’s the scheme where buses are supposed to be dispatched at scheduled regular time intervals to minimize clogging at EDSA). For some time, the major bottlenecks, including the Cubao northbound lane after the GMA fly-over, were gone.

It was effective when it was implemented. Now, it’s a free-for-all at EDSA. The photo shows how it looks like under the Kamuning fly-over, southbound. As you can see, there’s a yellow bus swerving to the left, and, as a result, all the lanes are occupied by buses. That bus is swerving to the innermost lane because the lanes on the right are occupied by buses and jeepneys loading/unloading passengers.

Buses outside the yellow lane in EDSA

It’s plain to see that all lanes are occupied. Now, with those pictures, maybe it’s no longer hard to imagine why buses, swerving and occupying all the lanes, greatly contribute to the traffic mess in Metro Manila. Of course, they’re not the only culprits, and let me clarify that buses are indispensable components of the Philippine transportation system.

The MMDA is supposed to enforce the Yellow Lane rule, or maybe I have it all wrong – drivers are supposed to follow this rule, regardless of the presence of the blue MMDA men. I endure the EDSA traffic almost everyday and aside from the fact that I consider it as my penitensya in lieu of non-pork Fridays, I have come to the conclusion that the Yellow Lane is not respected. Heck, I can even venture to say that the MMDA is not respected by bus and jeepney drivers. Buses and jeepneys are truly the kings of the road. They are untouchables. I don’t know why.

To some extent, the pink fences (over the Yellow Lanes) are meant to enforce the rule, but bus drivers have a habit of “accidentally” running over these fences. Because of these “accidents”, MMDA placed concrete dividers to take the place of the yellow lanes/pink fences.

The heavy traffic got me thinking, not of my bladders (thank Bayani for those pink urinals, but this is another matter). Atty. Alex Lacson mentioned obeying simple traffic rules as the first thing every Filipino can do to help our country. Obeying traffic rules is indicative of how we follow more complex laws. The progression of the ways to enforce the Yellow Lane (from the yellow paint, to the pink fences, to those gray, solid concrete dividers) speaks a lot. Maybe Filipinos need someone who has iron fists, er, stone fists, to govern them?

(Post transferred here. All posts under life and fatherhood will be transferred to PinoyDad.com.)


  1. Thanks. I believe that the Yellow Lane rule is not yet dead, because I was flagged down recently. A bus hardly fits in a small lane. When it swerves to overtake the bus in front, it easily eats up 3 lanes. I don’t know who has the guts to enfornce this rule. I thought Bayani Fernando can do it…

  2. Sir Sonnnie, it’s a tempting proposition and many favorably think about it. The problem is when you give them more power. It’s generally true that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Maybe consistency helps. In Makati for instance (well, most of the time at least), drivers are constantly mindful of the traffic regulations because they know they’ll get in trouble. Same thing in Subic. For a while in Rockwell, they tried to enforce the Subic-style full-stop-in intersections and the first-stop-first-go rules. I guess martial law is a bit extreme; we start with implementing the rules.

    People follow the rules when they know it’s implemented. When they see someone get away with it, why can’t they do the same thing? For a week, the MMDA implemented the rules and it was great. Then it went pffft.

  3. This is a sad experience in Cubao Edsa knowing that Bayani is advocating for Urbanidad in metro manila, unfortunately MMDA Traffic Enforcer were not even aware what the meaning or the sense of Urbanidad. today November 27, 2009 I was given ticket by MMDA Traffic Enforcer named Emmerson V. DEGAYO in Cubao EDSA for the violation of Yellow Lane. I did not complaint although im supposed to drop my friend at the side of EDSA were the yellow lane is located (is this wrong?). Given i have violation, why MMDA EMMERSON DEGAYO have to explain me that i cannot have my Driver’s License and it will take me 3 days to get it in Guadalupe because the next day is Sat. and Monday is holiday (Is he insinuating “lagay”?. Im aware that there is no need to confiscate my license given my violation is just passing by yellow lane. I told DEGAYO that i need to get my license since it is not MMDA who issued it, unless i have bigger violation i guess? I immediately called MMDA hotline & on the spot the phone operator at MMDA office told me that it is wrong to confiscate my License unless i have unpaid violation ticket or im delinquent in paying previous violation ticket. When DEGOYA noticed me im calling MMDA I was asked by DEGOYA to move on because im in the obstruction of traffic. I went back to get my license & still DEGOYA arguing that it HIS own discretion if he will confiscate or not my license and also telling me it is in “NEW MMDA ORDINANCE” that they are allowed to confiscate anytime and violation they want. Then another enforcer came and arbitrate in our discussion and later asked DEGOYA to return my license but still DEGOYA is agitated (i dont know if DEGOYA is on “drug” acting very different). And later told that i have to “BEG” to get my license. And if i only BEG in the first place he will not confiscate my License. I dont know but, this really explain why we have this kind of country, Given the kind of people in the government enforcing and using LAW on their personal gains. Im a loyal Filipino Taxpayer treated this way. . . I think there are a lot of motorist in Cubao EDSA experienced MMDA’s treatment and Kotong-On-Road please see other site: http://motorcyclephilippines.com/forums/showthread.php?t=195479

    1. I was charge P500 for Yellow Lane Violation today > see Bayani Fernando’s message posted by Phil. Daily Inquirer last July 28, 2009 >

      “Fernando warned drivers of private vehicles to observe the policy, or risk a fine of P150 for the first two offenses, and the possibility of having their driver’s license confiscated and revoked for succeeding violations.”

      I had my first violation and got charged P500? Im assuming ALL MMDA ENFORCER SPECIALLY EMMERSON DEGOYA was not aware of this?

      I dont know?

  4. Inistop ako sa Edsa Rotonda na route. Driving inside yellow lane. 500 nalang daw i charge sa kin para wala ng hassle. 1k daw dapat e plus kukunin license ko for 5 days with seminar sa pasay branch office nila. Mejo windang ako na pinara ako ng pulis e, saka hindi ako sigurado kung anu bang mga violations yung kinukumpiska ang lisensya. Pero sa umpisa pLang gusto na nya agad nya na magsettle nalang kaming 2. Dahil sya naman nagbigay ng option di naman ako. Tapos ipinaintindi nya s kin na pag walang iisuing tiket, di nya kukunin license ko, pag meron, kukunin nya. So ang ginawa nya binigyan ako ng maliit na book na green ang cover na may logo ng di ko sure kung mmda para ilagay ko nalang dito. NakakaInis, ngayon humahanap ako ng violations na nagsasaad kung anu at kailan ka lang makukumpiskahan ng lisensya. Wla akong makita! May link po ba kayo!? Salamat!!!

    1. April, I share your experience. It was in Pasay. From the stories I heard from my friends, it now appears that Pasay traffic enforcers have “quotas”. They must “issue” a certain number of tickets per day. They hit you from no-seatbelt to “swerving” (what really gets my goat is seeing all those jeepneys and buses swerving and clogging the streets without being apprehended by those Pasay traffic police in and around the airport). Why private vehicles? Because there’s more likelihood that private drivers will pay up to avoid hassle. You’ll notice that they’ll immediately go, “Eh paano yan ma’am, 500 pesos po multi nyo. At kailangan nyo tubusin ito sa city hall. Hassle. Kalahati na lang para di ko na kunin lisensya nyo.” I said, “Give me my ticket.” He said, “ma-hahassle po kayo sa pagtubos.” I go, “Ok lang. Give me my ticket.” Dapat nabanggit ni Pinoy sa SONA nya yang mga Pasay traffic police.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *