The Department of Transportation (DOTr), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) have just started this Wednesday (July 1, 2020), the interim operations of the EDSA Busway.
The government said that the start of the interim operations of the EDSA Busway will complement the operations of the MRT-3 line and its bus augmentation program and also aims to help transport commuters in Metro Manila amid the general community quarantine (GCQ) still being enforced to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Covered by the interim operations of the EDSA Busway are bus stops from Monumento to the PITX.
Buses from Monumento to Quezon Avenue will be using the following bus stops located on 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); and MRT Quezon Avenue Station (Southbound-Loading only, Northbound-Unloading Only).
Meanwhile, retaining the existing set up, buses will shift using the median lanes with the partial operability of the busway section from Quezon Avenue all the way to Estrella.
Then, 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; and PITX.
Around 550 bus units were authorized to service the EDSA Busway. Bus operators committed to initially deploy 150 bus units starting today. This is in addition to the buses deployed under the MRT-3 Bus Augmentation Program. No fare increase shall be implemented.
“Buses will be using these curbside stops until the needed bus stops (including lighting, fences and canopies) are completed, and when the concrete barriers are placed on EDSA’s median lanes,” the MMDA said.
The DOTr meanwhile has procured 36,000 concrete barriers for use in the EDSA Busway. Partial delivery of the barriers will start on July 2 to 7, 2020, and are expected to be completed by August or September this year.
To better assist commuters, the LTFRB will also be implementing a mini loop from Timog Avenue to Santolan, starting Thursday, July 2.
The Timog to Santolan mini loop will be serviced by shuttles or mini buses, 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 2 to 3 hours because of traffic, to just 45 minutes to 1 hour.