EDSA 'express bus' system starts Monday

Mike Frialde - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Friday said the scheduled pilot test of the EDSA “express bus” system on Monday is green and go.

In a press briefing at the MMDA office, MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino said 50 passenger buses to run on three routes would be ready to ferry passengers from Fairview to stations at the Makati central business district (CBD) and at the SM Mall of Asia. The pilot run of the express bus service will last for two months, the MMDA said.

LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez said the specially tagged “Express Connect” buses that would operate daily from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. Passengers intending to go to either to the Makati CBD and the Mall of Asia simply need to board at the MMDA’s dispatch terminal in Fairview and at various terminals of the three routes.

The express bus system will run on three routes: Route E1 (Fairview-Ortigas Avenue/Gil Puyat Avenue LRT station with 20 bus units), Route E2 (Fairview-Ayala Avenue/Gil Puyat Avenue LRT station with 10 bus units), and Route E3 (Fairview-Ayala Avenue MRT station-SM Mall of Asia rotunda with 20 bus units).

The MMDA said the following bus companies have agreed to field buses during the pilot test of the system: Kellen Transport Inc., Everlasting Transport Co., NAIA Metrolink, Taguig Metro Link Bus Corp., ES Transport Inc., Jayross LS Tours Bus Co Inc., Fermina Express Corp., Worthy Transport Inc., Gloren Transport Service and UBE Express (which will filed an articulated bus).

Ginez said passengers would have to buy their tickets from conductors inside the buses. He said fares for the express buses would be the same as the ones now being charged by airconditioned buses.

Express buses are only allowed to stay for 20 seconds at the stations to pick-up or unload passengers.

Commuters can expect an express bus arriving at each station every five minutes (during peak hours) and every 10 minutes (non-peak hours).

Express buses running on the E1 route will have the following stations: Fairview, Litex/COA, Batasan, Ortiagas, Megamall, Ayala Avenue. Gil Puyat LRT station and the Cultural Center of the Philippines parking area (Roxas Boulevard).

Express buses running on the E2 route will have the following stations: Fairview, Litex/COA, Batasan, Ayala Avenue, Gil Puyat LRT station and the CPP parking area.

Express buses running on the E3 route meanwhile will have the following stations: Fairview, Litex/COA, Batasan, Ayala MRT station and SM Mall of Asia rotunda.

Meanwhile, MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino called on the participating bus companies to be extra careful on the road as the express buses would be allowed by the MMDA to use EDSA’s tunnels and flyovers. The express buses that would be using the lane nearest the center island would also be exempted from the number coding scheme.

“Kung gaano kaingat yung sa yellow lane dapat mas doble kaingat yung sa express lane dahil dadaan sila sa tunnel and flyover dahil pagnagkaroon ng aksidente ay mahirap ayusin,” he said.

MMDA Assistant General Manager for Operations Emerson Carlos earlier said the express bus system would help decongest traffic along EDSA as motorists can now take the express bus system instead of driving their cars.

"Our main reason is to entice the public not to use private cars but instead take public utility vehicle," he said.

Carlos said the number of vehicles plying major thoroughfares would be lessened.











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