Here's DOTr's solution to the long queues at EDSA bus stations

Additional bus units will be deployed in a bid to ease the long queues being seen at the EDSA Bus Carousel stations, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said.

Commuters in Philcoa, Quezon City are forced to wait in this file photo after public utility vehicles (PUVs) were only allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR)-plus bubble. (Mark Balmores / MANILA BULLETIN)

The DOTr said in a statement Tuesday, June 15 that the move was part of the department and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board's (LTFRB) efforts to serve more commuters under the free ride program.

According to the DOTr, it will "push the EDSA Busway Consortium to deploy the maximum number of authorized bus units under their contract especially during rush hours, and to add more units as necessary."

"To date, the Consortium pledged to add 15 more modern bus units with left side doors that will be deployed in the EDSA Busway Route," it added.

More "rescue skip buses" will also be deployed to congested EDSA bus stops to pick up passengers especially during rush hours, while additional transport marshals will also be tapped to manage passenger traffic at the stations.

Transportation officials are also now studying whether or not to expand the DOT's free ride program to other platforms aside from the road sector.

The DOTr and the LTFRB have been under fire after photos of long lines of commuters at several EDSA busway stations went viral on social media last week.

Some netizens also pointed out the risk of transmissions due to a lack of social distancing among commuters.

While the DOTr and the LTFRB assured that they have been taking steps to address these concerns, they clarified that the long lines of commuters last Friday evening were "brought about by various unusual circumstances".

"We will remain relentless in our pursuit of implementing measures to address transport concerns in EDSA, and to provide more transport options," the DOTr said.

Representatives from the DOTr, the MMDA, and concerned local government units are also set to discuss various measures to prevent traffic congestion that affect the operation of the EDSA busway.