SMC running PH 1st Rapid Bus Transit on Skyway3

Published April 26, 2021, 3:41 PM

by Emmie V. Abadilla

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) will run the country’s first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system on its  elevated Skyway Stage 3, the company today ( April 26) announced. 

The BRT system, already used in many countries, will use the Skyway for buses that will function like trains—ferrying large numbers of passengers at a time and stopping only at designated stations at set intervals. 

The system resembles a high-capacity point-to-point (P2P) bus system. 

“As early as 2017, we had already been considering the bus rapid transit system on the Skyway as a means to further decongest traffic in Metro Manila,” according to SMC president Ramon S. Ang. 

SMC President Ramon S. Ang

“In fact, we already announced plans for this back then,” he noted.

With Skyway 3 now in place, SMC plansxto operate the BRT system from Susanna Heights in Muntinlupa to Balintawak, towards the North Luzon Expressway.  

While all of SMC’s expressway projects are designed  to take away vehicles from major roads such as EDSA, C-5, and even the at-grade section of the Skyway designated for use by buses, the BRT  has always been part of the vision for Skyway 3.

“Lessening the vehicles competing for road space is how elevated expressways ease traffic—as we have seen now on Edsa,” Ang explained.

“This also means improving the daily commutes of Filipinos taking public transportation that use these roads.” 

“However, our need for efficient transport systems will always be there, so more solutions are required. The Skyway BRT system is one viable solution that is also highly scalable,” he pointed out. 

Currently, SMC is doing studies and formulating a plan to be presented to the Department of Transportation once ready. 

“We’re very excited to start discussions on this,” Ang revealed.

“The most important thing is that the platform is already here—the completed elevated Skyway system—and this BRT or high-capacity P2P system will make commutes faster and better for many Filipinos.” 

As the buses will run on a controlled expressway, they cannot deviate from their course or stop anywhere. 

Reliability and predictability of transportation will be higher for commuters.  

“While we are looking to implement this on the Skyway system from Susanna Heights to Balintawak, in the future, we can also implement this for our other new projects, in order to expand the area of coverage,” he elaborated.

“Our expressways are really designed not just for motorists, but also to serve as a platform for efficient and sustainable mass transportation.”  Many motorists would even choose an efficient public transport system over driving their own vehicles, provided it was fast, easy to use, safe, affordable, and most of all, comfortable. This could yield significant benefits even for the environment, as hours-long traffic jams will become a thing of the past, he concluded.