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MMDA: Provincial buses allowed along EDSA starting March 25

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PITX INSPECTION. Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista (right) and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) acting Chair Romando Artes during an inspection of the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) in this undated photo. Artes announced that provincial buses will be allowed to pass through Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) at select hours from Monday (March 25, 2024) to Tuesday and at all hours from Wednesday to Sunday. (Philippine News Agency/FILE PHOTO)
MANILA – Public utility buses (PUB) headed to the provinces will be allowed to pass through Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) beginning Monday night to help lessen travel time for commuters and ensure sufficient number of PUBs during the Holy Week.
In a press conference at the ParaƱaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) acting Chair Romando Artes said these PUBs will be allowed on EDSA on Monday and Tuesday from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
In addition, PUBs will be allowed to ply EDSA at all hours beginning Holy Wednesday until Easter Sunday.
"'Yan po ay para bumilis ang turnaround time ng mga buses, lalong-lalo na mga galing probinsya, para maka-cater sila ng mas maraming pasahero," Artes said.
(That would help hasten the turnaround time for buses, especially those coming from the provinces, allowing them to cater to more passengers.)
He also announced that number coding will be suspended in the National Capital Region (NCR) on Thursday and Friday.
To ensure there are enough PUBs to serve the expected influx of commuters, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has issued more than 1,021 special permits for the duration of the Holy Week.
During the press conference, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista said a special office of the LTFRB has also been setup at the PITX ready to issue special permits whenever necessary.
"Meron kaming special office dito sa PITX na pwedeng mag-issue kaagad ng special permit para sa mga na-traffic na bus sa probinsya ay mapalitan at magkaroon ng additional capacity dito sa PITX," Bautista said.
(We have a special office here at PITX that can immediately issue a special permit to replace buses that encountered heavy traffic and to provide additional capacity.)
The office would be open 24 hours a day for the duration of the Holy Week.
He estimated that there will be around 1 million domestic and international (land, sea and air travel) passengers from March 24 to 31 this year, up from 926,755 in 2023.
DOTr data showed that there was a total of 134,660 passengers on Sunday alone – 62,097 arrivals and 72,563 departures.
"Sa ngayon, nakita natin na marami ng pasahero. Ito'y nakikita naming average of 120,000 per day," he added.
(To date, we can see that there are a lot of passengers already. We're estimating an average of 120,000 per day.)
Artes and Bautista were joined in the press conference by Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Ivan John Uy, and several other government officials.
Before the press briefing, these government officials conducted an inspection of PITX and its facilities to ensure their proper operation during Holy Week travel rush. (PNA)

Last Modified: 2024-Mar-26 10.00.00 UTC+0800