A Poin-to-Point (P2P) bus commissioned by the Department of Transportation
MANILA, Philippines — There used to be 15 Metropolitan Rail Transit (MRT) trains operating the entire day. But now, only six to seven trains are able to serve the riding public.
This is why commuters have begun patronizing the once-ignored point-to-point (P2P) buses at the MRT North Avenue station.
At about nine in the morning on Friday, there were still several passengers who wanted to catch the last P2P bus trip.
“Kasi konti na lang yung bagon na umaandar na MRT, so yung pag-aantay ko nakapila dun, sakay na lang ako ng bus (There have been lesser train coaches that operate so, instead of spending a long time in line, I prefer to take the bus),” said Michael Cruz, a P2P passenger.
“Mas mabilis po kasi dito kaysa sa MRT, pipila ka pa, mas matagal yung pipila ka pa (This is faster than taking the MRT where you have to spend time waiting in line),” said Michelle Loi, another P2P regular.
“Based on the information we got, MRT passengers patronize our P2P buses because they are able to sit and it’s comfortable, and two, they get to their destination fast,” said Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (I-ACT) spokesperson Atty. Aileen Lizada
Based on the data from the Department of Transportation (DOTr), from February 1 to 22, the bus augmentation program was able to serve up to over 56,000 MRT passengers.
To date, there are only about 250,000 commuters who take the MRT trains daily.
This number is lower compared to that in 2017 which was at about 400,000 daily.
In February alone, there have been at least 11 incidents of MRT glitches.
The MRT management, meanwhile, assures that repair work among its trains has been underway as the spare parts that have been ordered by the DOTr have begun arriving.
The MRT management targets to have 15 trains operating in may after the conduct of a general maintenance.
The DOTR, on the other hand, said that several Japanese railway engineers will begin the review and audit on the entire MRT system, in line with the planned taking over Sumitomo as the new maintenance provided of the MRT.
The DOTr is also considering the P30 billion buy-out of the Metro Pacific investments corporation to improve the MRT system. — Joan Nano| UNTV News & Rescue