The interim operations of the EDSA Busway rolled out on Wednesday ( July 1) in the hopes of helping to ferry more commuters along one of the busiest thoroughfares in the metropolis as restrictions in public transport are still being enforced.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced, along with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LFRB) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) the opening of the busway operations, which they said will complement the reduced capacity of the MRT-3 and its bus augmentation program.
According to the DOTr, 150 out of the 550 authorized bus units were initially deployed on Wednesday to service the EDSA Busway which covered bus stops from Monumento all the way to the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).
“Bus operators committed to initially deploy 150 bus units starting July 1. This is in addition to the buses deployed under the MRT-3 Bus Augmentation Program. No fare increase shall be implemented,” the DOTr emphasized.
Through the interim operations, buses from Monumento to Quezon Avenue will be using the following bus stops located on the curbside for the meantime to pick-up and/or drop off passengers:
- Bagong Barrio
- LRT Balintawak
- Kaingin Road
- LRT Muñoz Station
- MRT North Avenue Station (Southbound-Loading only, Northbound-Unloading Only)
- MRT Quezon Avenue Station (Southbound-Loading only, Northbound-Unloading Only)
Retaining the existing set-up, buses will shift using the median lanes with the partial operability of the busway section from Quezon Avenue to Estrella.
Upon exiting Estrella, the DOTr said bus units will be allowed to pick-up and/or unload passengers at the following curbside stops from Buendia to the PITX:
- Ayala (Southbound-Unloading Only, Northbound-Loading and Unloading)
- Taft Avenue (Southbound-Unloading Only, Northbound-Loading Only)
- Roxas Boulevard
- Macapagal Avenue
- SM Mall of Asia
“Buses will be using these curbside stops until the needed bus stops, including lighting, fences, and canopies, are completed, and when the concrete barriers are placed on EDSA’s median lanes,” the Department added.
The DOTr mentioned that it has already procured 36,000 concrete barriers for the busway. Partial delivery of the barriers will begin Thursday until next week and are expected to be completed by August or September this year, it said.
The EDSA Busway also aims to significantly cut travel time from Monumento to Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) from the usual 2 to 3 hours because of traffic, to just 45 minutes to 1 hour, the DOTr said.
Meanwhile, to ferry more essential commuters amid the general community quarantine (GCQ), the LTFRB said it will be implementing a mini loop from Timog Avenue to Santolan beginning Thursday.
“The Timog to Santolan mini loop will be serviced by shuttles or mini buses, and shall be allowed to pick up and drop off passengers at designated curbside stops,” the agency announced.