Bus lane along Edsa (File photo)

MANILA – The interim operation of the Edsa Busway that will complement the operations of the MRT-3 begins Wednesday, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said in a news release.

The Edsa Busway aims to help transport commuters in Metro Manila amid the general community quarantine (GCQ) still being enforced to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Covered by Edsa Busway’s interim operation are bus stops from Monumento to the PITX.

Buses from Monumento to Quezon Avenue will use the following bus stops located at the curbside for the meantime to pick up and/or unload passengers: Bagong Barrio, LRT Balintawak, Kaingin Road, LRT Muñoz Station, MRT North Avenue Station (southbound – loading only; northbound – unloading only), MRT Quezon Avenue Station (southbound – loading only; northbound – unloading only).

Meanwhile, retaining the present setup, buses will shift using the median lanes with the partial operability of the busway section from Quezon Avenue to Estrella.

Upon exiting Estrella, buses will be allowed to pick up and/or unload passengers at the following curbside stops from Buendia to the PITX:

Buendia, Ayala (southbound – unloading only, northbound – loading and unloading), Magallanes, Evangelista/Malibay, Taft Avenue (southbound – unloading only, northbound – loading only), Roxas Boulevard, Macapagal Avenue, SM Mall of Asia, PITX.

Some 550 buses have been authorized to service the Edsa Busway.

Bus operators have committed to initially deploy 150 buses starting Wednesday, in addition to the buses deployed under the MRT-3 bus augmentation program.

No fare increase shall be implemented.

Buses will use the curbside stops until the needed bus stops (including lighting, fences, and canopies) are completed and when the concrete barriers are placed along Edsa’s median lanes.

The DOTr has procured 36,000 concrete barriers for use in the Edsa Busway.

Partial delivery of the barriers will start on July 2-7 and is expected to be completed by August or September.

To better assist commuters, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board will also implement a mini loop from Timog Avenue to Santolan, starting Thursday.

The Timog to Santolan mini loop will be serviced by shuttles or minibuses and shall be allowed to pick up and drop off passengers at designated curbside stops.

The Edsa Busway aims to significantly cut travel time from Monumento to PITX from the usual two hours to three hours because of traffic, to just 45 minutes to one hour. (PNA)