THE Department of Transportation (DOTr) yesterday kicked off the interim Edsa busway scheme with the initial deployment of 150 buses to compliment the operation of MRT-3 and augmentation buses.
The interim busway scheme will have stops from Monumento to Quezon Avenue and from Buendia all the way to the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).
The DOTr said the scheme aims to significantly cut travel time from Monumento to PITX from the usual two to three hours, inclusive of traffic time, to just 45 minutes to one hour.
Mark Steven Pastor, DOTr assistant secretary for road transport and infrastructure, said the old bus lanes, or the yellow bus lanes, will still be used from Monumento to Quezon Avenue and from Estrella to MOA south bound.
“This is temporary until such time that the lifters for persons with disability and senior citizens, and the concrete barriers and bus bays are completed,” Pastor said.
The DOTr has procured 36,000 concrete barriers for use in the EDSA busway system.
Partial delivery of the barriers will start on July 2 to 7 and is expected to be completed by August or September this year.
The DOTr authorized 550 bus units to take part in the new scheme, of which 150 buses were already deployed yesterday, Wednesday. The buses are in addition to the buses already deployed under the MRT-3 Bus Augmentation program.
The 550 buses is 12 percent of the over 4,600 buses operating in Metro Manila. These city buses are only allowed to operate in 31 routes from the original 96 routes.
Under the scheme, buses from Monumento to Quezon Avenue will be using the following bus stops located on the curbside to pick-up and 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 and Northbound-Unloading Only).
Upon exiting Estrella, buses will be allowed to pick-up and/or unload passengers at the following curbside stops: Buendia, Ayala, Magallanes, Evangelista/Malibay, Taft Avenue, Roxas Boulevard, Macapagal Avenue, SM Mall of Asia and PITX.
Buses will be using these curbside stops until the needed bus stops (including lighting, fences and canopies) are completed, and until the concrete barriers are placed along EDSA’s median lanes.
The interim operation of the Edsa busway system aims to help transport commuters in Metro Manila amid the general community quarantine (GCQ) still being enforced to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the new NLEX Tambobong Interchange in Bocaue, Bulacan – the latest traffic decongestion project of the DOTr between Bocaue and other eastern parts of Bulacan – is set to be fully operational today, Thursday, according to Department of Public Works and Highways.
The new interchange will offer another alternative for commuters at Bocaue Interchange bound for Sta. Maria, Angat, and Pandi in eastern Bulacan.
“The completion of this new route is vital to fulfilling our goal of improving roads leading to growth corridors. We are delighted to let our commuters know that we are able to provide traffic congestion relief and reduce travel time between the NLEX and eastern Bulacan towns,” Public Works Secretary Mark Villar.
The new interchange features a two-lane southbound entry, a two-lane northbound entry, and a three-lane northbound exit. It also has three exclusive RFID lanes to encourage cashless and faster transactions.
“With these new access roads, we are expecting to enhance mobility within the Bulacan road network and help alleviate the heavy traffic situation at the Bocaue Interchange,” said J. Luigi L. Bautista, NLEX Corp. president and general manager.