MANILA – A total of 11 city bus routes are now established in Metro Manila with more to be added soon as part of the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) gradual resumption of public transportation in the region.
In a message, DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope Libiran said that four new routes were activated on Monday — Route 3 or the Monumento-Valenzuela Gateway Complex (VGC); Route 11 or Gilmore-Taytay; Route 13 or Buendia-Bonifacio Global City (BGC); and Route 21 or Monumento-San Jose Del Monte.
These are in addition to seven city bus routes that were opened in the previous week—a portion of the EDSA Carousel route to augment the Metro Rail Transit Line 3; Route 1 or Monumento-Balagtas; Route 5 or Quezon Avenue-Angat; Route 7 or Quezon Avenue-Montalban; Route 9 or Cubao-Antipolo to augment the Light Rail Transit Line (LRT) 2; Route 17 or Monumento-EDSA Taft to augment the LRT-1; Route 18 or Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX)-Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Loop; and Route 28 or PITX-Dasmariñas.
According to the latest data from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), a total of 1,470 public utility buses (PUB) have been permitted to operate these routes.
For the EDSA Carousel, 90 PUBs were permitted to ply the route; Cubao-Antipolo with 256; Monumento-EDSA Taft, 57; Quezon Avenue-Angat, 510; PITX-Dasmariñas, 111; Monumento-Balagtas, 116; Quezon Avenue-Montalban, 28; PITX-NAIA Loop, 76; Monumento-VGC, 33; Monumento-San Jose Del Monte, 105; Gilmore-Taytay, 78; and Buendia-BGC with 10 buses.
These are in addition to 271 point-to-point (P2P) buses operating at 28 different routes in Metro Manila.
These P2P routes are Las Piñas-Makati; Imus-Makati; Noveleta-Makati; Makati-Bacoor; Makati-Dasmariñas; Alabang-Bacoor; Alabang-Dasmariñas; Taguig-Makati; Taguig-Ortigas; Malolos-North EDSA; Sta Maria/Bocaue-North EDSA; Sta Rosa-Makati; Sangley Airport/Cavite City-NAIA; Sucat/PITX-Makati; Eastwood-Makati; Alabang-BGC; Fairview-Makati; Calamba-Makati; Calamba-BGC/Fort Bonifacio; Calamba-Lawton; Antipolo-Ortigas Central Business District (CBD); Antipolo-Makati CBD; Alabang-Makati; Alabang-Ortigas; Cainta-Makati; Balagtas-North EDSA; Pandi-North EDSA; and Plaridel-North EDSA.
Meanwhile, following the clamor of some operators and drivers of traditional jeepneys to allow them to resume operation, Libiran said that buses and modern jeepneys remain prioritized as these have larger passenger capacity, capable of non-contact transactions, and more viable social distancing.
However, she added that traditional jeepneys may still be given a permit to operate in areas under a general community quarantine if the demand is more than what buses and modern jeepneys can provide, as well as their compliance with certain requirements.
“Una, dapat ay roadworthy. Ikalawa, dapat na masunod ang mga health, safety, sanitation and security protocols (First, it has to be roadworthy. Second, they must comply with health, safety, sanitation, and security protocols),” Libiran said.
The protocols include mandatory wearing of face masks and gloves for drivers, face masks for passengers, regular disinfection of the vehicle unit, and maximum passenger capacity at 50 percent, among other requirements, to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019. (PNA)