Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) traffic chief Bong Nebrija said some 90 commuters were unloaded at the Ortigas bus stop even though it was not yet secured with fences.
Russell Palma, File
Rocky start for EDSA Busway operations
Marc Jayson Cayabyab (The Philippine Star) - July 3, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines  — The second day of the interim operations of the EDSA Busway project was marred by confusion after some buses dropped off passengers at the still uncompleted bus stops yesterday.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) traffic chief Bong Nebrija said some 90 commuters were unloaded at the Ortigas bus stop even though it was not yet secured with fences.

The Ortigas bus stop is almost complete and is connected to the Metro Rail Transit Line 3’s Ortigas station platform with a stairway.

A bus was also flagged down for picking up passengers at the North Avenue median lane even though there is no bus stop there yet, Nebrija added.

“These are the birth pains of the project. We will try again tomorrow,” Nebrija said, adding that some bus operators may have been misinformed about the interim Busway operations.

Besides the two incidents, the EDSA Busway yesterday contributed to reducing the queues of people to the Metro Rail Transit Line 3, Nebrija said.

Buses are allowed to drop off and load passengers on the curbside pending the completion of the bus stops and the installation of concrete barriers to mark the busway on the innermost lane.

LTFRB airs concern

Meanwhile, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chairman Martin Delgra said yesterday there are concerns if public transport operators would be able to sustain limited-capacity operations following the sector’s months-long shutdown.

“The viability of our public transport is a real concern,” he said in an online press briefing.

The government is eyeing fuel subsidy as well as loan restructuring for those in the transport sector under a stimulus package it has proposed to Congress.

Delgra said the LTFRB thumbed down fare increases despite all road transport modes operating at a 50 percent capacity to ensure physical distancing will be observed.

The LTFRB allowed 6,002 traditional jeepneys to ply 49 routes in Metro Manila starting today. The figure represents a tenth of the jeepneys in the metropolis.

They will be given a corresponding QR code that will be displayed in their units that will act as a special permit for their operations.

The government first opened up bus operations under 31 rationalized routes, as well as the operations of taxis and transport network vehicle services. Romina Cabrera

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