DOTr to position point-to-point buses at MRT stations to assist in case of train glitches

MANILA, Philippines – In the second day of the take-over by the transition team of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in the maintenance of the Metro Rail Transit or MRT-3, the operations of the train experienced glitches anew.

This prompted the officials of the DOTr, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Land Transportation Office (LTO), PNP Highway Patrol Group, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and several bus operators to hold a meeting.

In the meeting, the government agencies and bus operators have agree to station point-to-point buses in several MRT stations. These buses will serve as alternative transport of passengers during peak hours.

“The objective is to cut down long queues at Taft MRT and  Ayala MRT,” DOTr Railways Usec. Cesar Chavez said.

Based on the agreement of the inter-agency council, 20 bus units will be deployed at the southbound of the MRT North Avenue station from 6 to 9 in the morning.

Thirty buses will also be deployed at the Taft Avenue station and Ayala station every five in the afternoon to eight in the evening.

And since the system of travel is point to point, the buses can unload passengers only in Ortigas and Ayala for passengers on the southbound lane.

While buses coming from the Taft station can unload passengers only on the North Avenue station.

And to ensure the faster travel of the point-to-point buses, they will exclusively ply the yellow lane and will be escorted by traffic law enforcers of the LTO and PNP-HPG.

“You can see the buses have tarpaulins, the Libreng Sakay tarps, the Kalayaan ride. And then the other one will assist passengers of the MRT3, using the fare of the MRT3,” LTFRB Spokesperson Atty. Aileen Lizada said.

Fares for point-to -point buses range from P20 to P24.

Transportation authorities will conduct a dry run of the said system, Thursday, to determine its actual effect on traffic.

Meanwhile, the four buses of MMDA will provide free rides Thursday until Friday.

MRT passengers have mixed reactions regarding the new system.

“Yes, instead of being late to our destination. But they should fix MRT because it has been a problem ever since,” MRT parton Victoria Raffles said.

“It’s okay, but it’s much better if it’s MRT… in terms of bus rides, it’s still traffic,” MRT patron Edlyn Jocson said.

The MMDA has once again called for discipline and cooperation among private vehicle owners to not ply the yellow lane.

Motorists violating the policy will have to pay a fine of P500. – Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue

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