TO provide relief to commuters who face the daily grind of heavy traffic this Christmas season, the government is set to implement a “holiday non-stop bus service” along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA).
Cabinet Secretary and traffic czar Jose Rene Almendras said the express bus scheme is one of the medium-term solutions to improve traffic in EDSA especially during the holiday rush.
The bus service is a joint project of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). It will be launched on December 5 and will last until January 6.
Robert Siy, DOTC Planning Adviser, said the holiday non-stop buses will pick up passengers from Trinoma, SM North Edsa in Quezon City and SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.
Their destinations include Park Square Ayala Center, Glorietta 5 and Park Square Terminal in Makati. Fares range from P50 to P80.
He said the buses will be dispatched on time from the terminal regardless of the number of passengers.
Almendres said the scheme aims to encourage private car owners to leave their vehicles at home.
“The scheme is a way of increasing efficiency of the use of the streets. We want to see a shift the culture from car-riding to bus-riding public,” Almendras told reporters.
A technical working group (TWG) on Thursday met with officials of the MMDA led by chairman Emerson Carlos, DOTC, LTFRB, local traffic bureaus in the metropolis.
Almendras said the MMDA and the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) may escort the buses to ensure that they will reach their destination in Makati City on time.
“We are trying to start up the bus riding culture. We want to provide an alternative to people on how to move faster,” he said.