Gov’t to launch express bus system in Metro Manila

Posted on March 21, 2015

THE GOVERNMENT on Monday will launch an express bus service system in Metro Manila to test if the scheme is viable, particularly on the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA), its busiest highway.

The one-month pilot test will involve buses that will not make any undesignated stops in between the point of origin and the point of destination, officials said in a press conference on Friday.

Transport officials are hopeful that the system will cut travel time substantially.

“We want to provide a faster, safer and more convenient bus service to commuters,” Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Winston M. Ginez said.

A pilot trial of the express bus service system, which will start at 4am to 10PM, will initially have three routes, which is as follows:

Express route 1: (20 bus units available)

Fairview -- Commonwealth Ave- Ortigas -- Ayala Avenue -Gil Puyat Avenue -Roxas Blvd

Express route 2: (10 bus units available)

Fairview -- Commonwealth Ave -- Ayala Avenue -Gil Puyat Avenue -Roxas Blvd

Express Route 3: (20 bus units available)

Fairview -- Commonwealth Ave -- Ayala MRT Station-SM Mall of Asia

“These destinations were chosen because many people are working in these areas. We did a dry run of the routes and there is a time saving of 20 to 30 minutes during peak hours when it was done on a Friday, which is the heaviest traffic day in Metro Manila,” DOTC Assistant Secretary Sherielysse R. Bonifacio told reporters in Filipino.

The express buses, which will not have their own lanes, will occupy the innermost lane, as recommended by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

He added that the bus drivers were given instruction to minimize their loading time of passengers to about 20 seconds.

The LTFRB official added that the bus fare for the express service is similar to the current bus fares of air-conditioned buses.

He added that about 25,000 commuters who frequently take the bus are expected to benefit from the shorter-than-usual bus rides.

Meanwhile, MMDA Chairman Francis T. Tolentino said that the express buses will also be allowed to use the flyovers and underpasses along EDSA, but reminded operators and drivers to ensure that their buses are in tip-top condition. -- Alden M. Monzon