Valenzuela City provides free shuttle service to residents, but some are still unable to commute to work

Published June 1, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Joseph Almer Pedrajas 

The local government of Valenzuela City provided on Monday, June 1, free shuttle services to its residents who were returning to work.

Zyan Caiña, chief of the city’s public information office, said they have deployed a total of 12 vehicles to give residents a ride as they went to work, after most offices resume operations following Metro Manila’s shift to a general community quarantine (GCQ).

According to the local government, the free trips start at 5:30 a.m. and are available until 9 p.m. every day from June 1 to 21.

The routes of the said trips include MacArthur Highway-Malanday to Monumento Circle, M.H. Del Pilar St. near Polo Church to Arkong Bato to Monumento, and CJ Santos St. corner Maysan Road to Paso de Blas toll gate.

While some residents were able to avail of the free ride, Jesmar Talamisan, 25, was among those who just returned home after hours of waiting in vain.

“Umuwi rin ako sa bahay after two hours ng paghihintay. Mahirap ang sakayan, since walang transportation talaga. Walang taxi,” he told the Manila Bulletin in an interview. He started waiting along MacArthur Highway by 6 a.m.

[Translation: After two hours of waiting, I decided to just go home. It was difficult to get a ride since there really isn’t a lot of transportation options. There are no taxis, for example.]

“May libreng sakay ‘yung Valenzuela government… pero punuan and very limited ang nakakasakay since ino-observe nila ang social distancing (Valenzuela offers free public transpo but it’s almost always full because it could only accommodate a number of passengers since social distancing is observed),” he added.

Talamisan, who works in a finance-related company in Ortigas, said that he just told his supervisor that he would no longer report for work, supposedly his first in two months, as he was not able to catch a ride

“Nag-usap na kami ng superior namin, baka sasabay ako sa kanya [bukas] kasi may sasakyan sila, pero galing pa siyang Paso De Blas, Valenzuela (I already spoke with my superior, so I might hitch a ride with him tomorrow because he was a car, but he would be coming form Paso De Blas, Valenzuela),” he said.

Mayor Rex Gatchalian, in earlier social media posts, bared that the local government is also already preparing the Valenzuela Gateway Complex (VGC) should the Transportation department finally allow public buses to operate.

“The Valenzuela Gateway Complex Terminal is also installing visual cues (as guides to observe social distancing). They’re getting ready for GCQ terminal operations,” he said.

But the Department of Transportation said that, for the meantime, it would only allow trains and bus augmentation, taxis, TNVS, shuttle services, point-to-point (P2P) buses, and bicycles to operate with limited passenger capacity.