April 15, 2019
Around 300 buses were deployed Monday morning as the Metro Rail Transit System Line 3 (MRT-3) started the EDSA Bus Augmentation Program which will help passengers during the week-long temporary suspension of the train's operations.
Transport Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan, Undersecretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark de Leon, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chair Martin Delgra III, Assistant Secretary for Special Concerns Manuel Gonzales, and MRT-3 Director for Operations Michael Capati attended the first day of the program early morning at the MRT North Avenue station, Quezon City.
Public utility buses will serve as an alternative transportation for MRT-3's regular passengers.
Buses with special permit from LTFRB and DOTr will travel the north to southbound route starting Monday until Wednesday. It will resume Saturday and Sunday.
Operations for the buses will start at 5 am until 9 pm.
DOTr said similar to the MRT-3 trains, the buses will have pick-up points re located at West Avenue corner EDSA in Quezon City and at Roxas Boulevard corner EDSA in Pasay City.
The transportation department also explained that the bus fares are based on MRT-3's fare matrix.
Batan asked for commuters' understanding, saying the train's system badly needed rehabilitation and maintenance.
"We are asking for understanding from the commuters. We are doing everything we can to restore the MRT as fast as possible. We acknowledge that there are damages and the MRT is in a degraded mode that's why it badly needed renovation," Batan said.
Personnel of DOTr MRT-3 started the overhead catenary system, fixing power lines, train rails, and cleaning the station at the North Avenue for the first day of the maintenance shutdown.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and Delgra urged more bus operators to participate in the program.
Tugade said about 320,000 to 350,000 commuters take the MRT-3 trains every day.
DOTr said MRT-3 operations will be available for the public on April 22. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS
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